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

The Stillwater Police Department released to the public on Monday a video of officers pulling an OSU student to safety from the edge of a parking garage, but deleted the video off their social media after community members voiced concerns under the video.

According to a statement from the Stillwater Police Department, Officers Kurt Merrill and Damian Neiswanger were dispatched March 15 at 5:25 p.m. to the fifth level of the parking garage at 251 W. Miller Ave. after a male was seen sitting on top of a concrete pillar.

When officers arrived, they spotted a man later identified as a 21-year-old OSU student, according to Public Information Officer Kyle Bruce.

"The male was sitting on the corner pillar of the railing, facing away from the parking lot," Bruce said.

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 him 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 fifth0story 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 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.

Warning: Video contains strong language

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

The student was pulled to safety and suffered minor scrapes to his legs.

The student was handcuffed, but was told several times he wasn't under arrest. Bruce said it was done to ensure the man no longer posed 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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