Deputy Deescalates Situation and Possibly Prevents Tragedy
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Paul Ouimette responding to a suicidal person call and located an adult male who had taken substantial steps toward ending his life. Fortunately, Deputy Ouimette developed a rapport with the male, deescalated the situation successfully and connected him with the help he desperately needed.
On June 18, 2018, just after 1:00 a.m., Several Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a possible suicidal male. The Deputies contacted family members of the male at their home and found the male was unexpectedly not in his room. Upon further inspection, a handwritten “Goodbye” letter was located.
During the call, additional information was received mentioning a possible method of drowning.
Deputy Ouimette began checking the area on the east side of Medical Lake. He located the male sitting with his arms cradling something in his lap at the edge of small cliff near the edge of the water. The male would not say much but did reveal he was cradling a large rock. Deputy Ouimette continued to try to establish a dialog and build rapport with the distraught young man but maintained his distance to not inflame the situation.
After several minutes of talking to the male, the male reached in his packet and pulled something out. Deputy Ouimette could not see what the male removed from his pocket and he would not answer. A short time later, the male appeared to place the object next to him, stood up and threw a large rock with a cord/rope tied around it into the water.
The male turned and walked away from the water, toward Deputy Ouimette. As he approached, Deputy Ouimette noticed a razor blade in his hand. Thanking him for coming over, Deputy Ouimette asked the male to drop the razor blade and he complied. The male was placed in protective custody and provided professional assistance to address his desperate feelings.
During the contact, Deputy Ouimette noticed a piece of cord/rope he had observed tied around the rock, tied around the male’s ankle. It is believed the male pulled the razor blade out of his pocket and cut the cord/rope before he stood up and threw it into the water.
Deputy Ouimette showed compassion for this young man in crisis and for his family, who were extremely concerned for his welfare. Deputy Ouimette thankfully checked the area of the cliffs and located the male. Understanding how precarious the situation was, Deputy Ouimette deescalated it by talking with the young man letting him know his family was extremely worried and cared about him, possibly preventing a very tragic ending.
We remind everyone who might be feeling lost or thinking about suicide, please take a minute to contact one of the many people who want to help you. Call one of the numbers below or just walk into any emergency room, contact a Fireman, a Deputy, an Officer, your church, a family member or friend and simply say, “I need your help.”
509-838-4428 First Call for Help
1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255, press 1 VA Suicide Hotline