SANDUSKY, Ohio – An Erie County Sheriff’s deputy didn’t worry about his own safety when he climbed out a second story window to help rescue a man who wanted to commit suicide.
“My main concern was trying to save his life. I didn’t want him to get hurt,” Deputy Ben Cooper said.
The 25-year-old deputy along with Deputy Dan Vladiff were sent to a home Sunday for an intoxicated male who was threatening to kill himself, reported Fox 8 Cleveland.
When the officers initially arrived at the home, they were unable to locate the desperate man in the house. After a few minutes, Vladiff kicked open a door to an upstairs room.
“He saw him jumping out the window to the garage-level roof,” Cooper told FOX 8.
Vladiff ran downstairs and out to the front lawn. Body camera video shows the deputy trying to talk to the man.
“I want to get you help, that’s it,” Vladiff can be heard saying on the video.
In the meantime, Cooper made the decision to climb out the window and try to get the man off the roof.
“I got this job because I want to help people and that’s what I intended to do,” Cooper said.
The body camera video shows Cooper as he gets to the roof of the garage, then climbs to the very top of the house. The man can be heard saying, “It’s time to go.”
“I knew then I had to act right away,” Cooper said.
The deputy grabbed the man, pulled him back and got him restrained away from the roofline. With help from the other deputies and the man’s family, they were able to get him to a position of safety. Afterward, he was taken to the hospital.
Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said he is extremely proud of Vladiff and Cooper’s actions.
“They both did an absolutely incredible job,” Sigsworth said. “Our deputies and law enforcement officers all over the area are very intent on trying to prevent anything like this from happening. This is not something the general public sees everyday or thinks that is what law enforcement officers do, but that’s exactly what law enforcement officers do. They try to prevent people from hurting themselves or someone else.”
Cooper said he is relieved the man is all right.
“I know people go through tough times and life can be hard,” Cooper said. “But things change. There are so many people that care. There are always people there for you.”