MANCHESTER — A judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation Tuesday for a city man accused of pointing a loaded gun Monday inside the lobby of the Manchester Police Department.
There was also concern that Khalid Dibi could use the gun to harm himself, police said.
Judge Amy Messer issued the evaluation order following the arraignment of Khalid Dibi in Hillsborough County Superior Court on felony charges of reckless conduct and receiving stolen property.
Her decision was “based on the nature of the offense and instability of the defendant at this time,” Messer wrote in the bail order, which was posted shortly after the hearing.
Dibi, 30, appeared in an orange jail jumpsuit with his hands shackled in front of him one day after police officers used a Taser to subdue him in the lobby of the Manchester Police Department. According to court documents, Dibi refused multiple orders to put down a revolver and step away from it.
Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Katelyn Brown, who asked that Dibi be placed in preventive detention in lieu of bail, told Messer that Dibi pointed the gun at his own chin twice before he was subdued by officers responding to calls for help from a woman working behind the counter in the lobby entrance.
Brown disclosed that Dibi had also stopped by the police department Friday and spoke about “wanting to kill someone” and wishing to speak to a judge or a police officer.
“He felt like he might kill someone and the help he had been getting wasn’t working,” Brown said.
Details from the Friday visit were still emerging, Brown said. An unidentified person stopped by the department later Friday and told police that Dibi, who was unarmed, was not a risk to harm himself or others, Brown said. The person planned to stop by Dibi’s home on Saturday, Brown said, but it was unclear if that happened.
“What we do know is that the defendant came back to the lobby two days later,” Brown said.
Dibi sat quietly at the defense table throughout the hearing, quietly saying “yes” when Messer asked if she was pronouncing his name correctly, but leaving the rest to public defender Tom Stonitsch.
Stonitsch requested the psychiatric evaluation, telling Messer his client does not have a history of violence and did not threaten to kill anybody.
“All of this needs to be taken into context with my client’s mental health,” Stonitsch said. “Given his history overall and his history within the last few days, I think it’s clear that this is a mental health issue and not a criminal one.”
Stonitsch also said Dibi, whose Facebook page says he’s from Morocco, may not have properly understood the officers Monday because English is his second language. He said his client may also have been frightened and confused by multiple police officers yelling at him to put down the gun and to step away from it.
According to a police affidavit filed with the charges, Dibi arrived at the Michael Briggs Public Safety Building on Valley Street around 10 a.m. Monday, telling a woman working behind the counter that he had a stolen gun, removing a .357 caliber revolver from a backpack.
Dibi then placed the gun under his chin and the woman called for help, according to the affidavit. Another witness who works in the records division told police he heard the woman yelling “put down the gun” and said he could see Dibi pointing the weapon at his own chin, officer Michael Buckley wrote in the affidavit.
Dibi “was making everyone nervous,” the records employee said, and the woman behind the counter said she was unsure how reliable the safety glass in front of the counter was, wrote Buckley, one of the officers who responded to the lobby.
Buckley said he saw Dibi pointing the gun under his own chin before placing it on the counter and turning to face the officers. Dibi was still “well within” reach of the weapon, police said. Buckley deployed his Taser and officers were able to take Dibi into custody, according to the affidavit.
The gun, which had been reported stolen from a vehicle on Cypress Street the night before, had at least one live round in it, Buckley wrote.
Dibi was booked and taken to the Valley Street jail, where he spent Monday night.
Messer’s order called for Dibi to remain in preventive detention, pending results of an evaluation to be conducted at Elliot Hospital within 24 hours.