CPD Officers save man's life in never before seen body cam video
COLUMBIA, SC (WACH)- —
Last month, three Columbia Police Officers helped save a man's life as he sat on the ledge, contemplating suicide.
WACH FOX News exclusively obtained body cam footage of the incident.
Officer Andy Lynch was the first to arrive on the scene after dispatch received a phone call about the man at the Meridian Garage in Downtown Columbia.
"What's wrong, tell me what it is and I'll tell you if I can help you," Lynch says to the man in the footage. He told WACH FOX News, "we get those calls a lot but you never really know what you get until you get there."
Lynch saw the man's feet dangling when he got to the garage. He immediately called for back up and ran up eight flights of stairs to get to the man in need.
"My job was to keep him distracted and focus on me until we got other officers on the scene," says the Patrolman.
Officers Karen Jehl and Joseph Czeladko arrived within minutes.
"He said to step it up so we ran code lights and sirens so we could get there sooner," says Jehl.
As the two officers joined Lynch, they can be heard addressing the man in the footage, "I'm right behind you, my name is Joe."
"My name is Karen. I'm back here as well."
Together the three officers distracted the man and pulled him to safety as they repeatedly told him that he was not in trouble.
"We got him to the ground and tried to get him calm. He was in a very hyper state," Lynch explains.
"I'm sure he did feel alone. The main thing was when we took him off the ledge to let him know that he wasn't in trouble to reassure him that he was okay," says Czeladko.
All three officers say they felt relieved once they pulled him to safety.
"We knew at that point, he was pretty much safe. We had three officers on him. There was no way he would get away and try to jump again," says Lynch.
All three officers also want the community to know their jobs go beyond making arrests.
"First and foremost that's our number one job, yes, it's to 'protect and serve' but it's also to help save lives," Czeladko explains.
"Call us. We'll try to help you the best we can," says Lynch.
The same squad but different officers helped save someone from a suicide attempt on Monday; since April, seven of the eight officers in the squad have helped save a life.
If you or anyone you know if struggling with suicidal thoughts, click here for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Click here to reach the Columbia Police Department.