SPD rescue

On March 15 two Stillwater police officers saved a young man who appeared to be considering throwing himself from the fifth story of a parking garage. Screenshot from SPD dash cam

A young man is still alive today, thanks to the work of two Stillwater police officers.

According to a statement released by the Stillwater Police Department, Officers Kurt Merrill and Damian Neiswanger were dispatched on March 15 at 5:25 p.m. to the 5th level of the parking garage at 251 West Miller Avenue regarding a male sitting on top of a concrete pillar.

Public Information Officer Kyle Bruce said, "when officers arrived, they located a white male, later identified as a 21-year-old OSU Student. The male was sitting on the corner pillar of the railing, facing away from the parking lot."

The OSU student was said to be in a precarious position with his feet dangling over the edge of the pillar. Merrill and Neiswanger approached the man with caution while trying to engage him in conversation.

"It quickly became evident to the officers that the male was in a mental health crisis and was contemplating jumping from the 5th story parking garage," Bruce said. "As the officers moved closer to the male to try and convince him to move back into the parking lot and speak with them, the male set his phone down and moved his body forward several inches, indicating he was getting ready to jump."

At that point, Officer Neiswanger attempted to reason with the distraught student, while Merrill moved closer to close the distance gap between him and the student.

"As the male placed his hands onto the area where he was seated to push himself forward, Officer Merrill lunged forward and wrapped his arms around the male," Bruce said.

In the above video Stillwater Police Officers Kurt Merrill and Damian Neiswanger can be seen saving the life of an OSU student contemplating suicide.

Warning: This video contains strong language

The unidentified male student was pulled to safety and suffered minor abrasions to his legs while being pulled from the railing.

The student was then handcuffed, but was told multiple times he wasn't under arrest. Bruce said it was done to ensure the man could no longer pose a danger to himself.  

The incident was captured on video by the dash cam in a patrol car.

The video shows the two officers talking with the student before pulling him off the pillar and to the ground. 

Situations like this are part of the reason SPD has put together a Crisis Intervention Team to help those suffering from a mental health crisis.

 

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