Suicidal man rescued |

Suicidal man rescued

SUMMIT COUNTY – Sheriff’s deputies closed Swan Mountain Road for about four hours Friday as they tried to calm down and apprehend a man who was threatening to commit suicide.

According to Sheriff Joe Morales, the man’s ex-wife called emergency personnel to report the man planned to commit suicide.

Two deputies found his vehicle parked in the Sapphire Point parking lot and found the man drinking beer and consuming a variety of pills, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The man, who was sitting next to a duffel bag, said he had a handgun, officials said.

Sheriff’s officers, fire department and ambulance personnel, along with about eight members of the SWAT team, responded to the incident, evacuated tourists at the popular scenic overlook and tried to persuade the man to turn himself in.

This is the second time in as many weeks the SWAT team has had to respond to a call in which someone was reportedly threatening suicide and holding a firearm. Clergy members and the man’s ex-wife also spoke to the man via cell phone.

The man was taking prescription pain medicines and psychotropic drugs.

Eventually, Morales said, the man began to become disconcerted.

“It got to the point where he passed out, so the team pounced on him and got him to the hospital,” Morales said. “He could have easily died from what he took. Taken all together with alcohol, it got to the point we had to act. If we’d waited any longer, we could have had some real problems.”

Morales said that, while the man didn’t break any laws, he made viable threats and officials needed to have the teams in place to protect the public, the man and themselves.

– Jane Stebbins

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