Summit County cops commended for saving armed, suicidal man’s life |

Summit County cops commended for saving armed, suicidal man’s life

Summit Daily staff report
From left: Summit County Water Rescue Team Member Brandon Ciullo, Deputy Dave Basile, Deputy Ryan Hosier, Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons, Technician Brian Metzger, Senior Sergeant Dave Martinez, Ranger Erin Sirek, Sergeant Mark Watson.

Twenty Summit County law enforcement agents and first responders are receiving commendations for saving the life of an armed, suicidal man who was threatening to jump from a bridge but surrendered after several hours of delicate negotiations.

“These first responders demonstrated unusual heroism, extraordinary skill and resourcefulness is saving the life of a suicidal subject and are commended for the selfless action,” Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said as he presented the first group of police officers with lifesaving awards during a town council meeting last week.

A friend of the Lakewood man made the initial report on Sept. 5, telling dispatchers that he had called him and said he was standing on a metal bridge by a water plant in Summit County and was going to kill himself, according to a narrative of the events provided by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s deputy David Basile found the man standing on an old bridge straddling the Blue River below Dillon Reservoir. He was brandishing a large hunting knife and had tied a ratchet strap around the bridge railing and his neck, according to the sheriff’s office.

For the next three hours, Basile and Silverthorne police sergeant Misty Higby negotiated with the man and eventually got him to drop the knife, along with another blade he was concealing.

He was placed in protective custody and taken to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco where he was evaluated and placed on a mental health hold. A suicide note was later found in his car.

“We talk an awful lot about the mental health crisis we have here in the county and people suffering and I just thought that we should point out that we do save some and we do work on these mental health issues really hard in this community — all of our cops do,” FitzSimons said.

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