|Action of deputies, dispatch prevent man from taking his own life|
Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Will Hudson, Detective Clint Beam and Communications Officer Meci Brown were instrumental in preventing a death on June 26 when they responded to a call in the St. Marks area from a man who was distraught and ready to claim his own life.
The caller threatened to take his own life by firearm “within five minutes.” Deputy Hudson and Detective Beam were the first to arrive on the scene. During their transportation time, Dispatcher Brown continued to speak to the subject over the phone and discouraged him from taking any action until law enforcement could arrive on the scene.
With a WCSO team that included Deputy Matt Helms, Deputy Mike Zimba and Detective Derek Lawhon, Hudson and Beam approached the caller who was sitting on the porch. The caller would not allow the deputies to approach him at first so Hudson and Beam continued to engage their subject in conversation from a distance.
The male subject placed a firearm to his head several times during the conversation and the deputies continued to reassure him that suicide was not the best answer. The deputies used their training to assess the situation, obtain background information about their subject and speak to him about his family members.
After being at the scene for several minutes, Deputy Hudson asked for permission to approach the subject and it was granted. The discussion by the deputies turned to the subject’s young family members. Eventually the subject placed his firearm on a table and allowed Deputy Hudson to remove it and hand it to Deputy Zimba.
Later, Detectives Beam and Lawhon accompanied the subject to the hospital where he was admitted for treatment.
Sheriff Charlie Creel said the incident is another example of the outstanding work done by members of the WCSO Dispatch and other WCSO members who responded to a mental health issue with the Road Patrol Unit and worked as a team to make sure the incident did not have an unhappy ending.