Galax police save citizen from suicide attempt

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Staff Reports

“A job well done with a great ending,” says the post on the Galax Police Department’s Facebook page, put up last week.

It briefly relates the story of three police officers — Tyler Garcia, Darrin Alley and Sgt. Trevor Jefferson — who helped talk a citizen out of a suicide attempt.

“Officers were sent to check the welfare of a city resident,” the post says. “When officers arrived at the scene they observed that a female had climbed out a window onto the roof of her home. She told the officers she was going to jump off of the roof and kill herself.”

As is usual for a report of a sensitive nature, the person’s name or other identifying details besides gender were not given.

However, the report continues, “Officer Garcia, without hesitation went into the home, climbed out the same window and began talking with her to avert a tragedy. He successfully talked with the lady and convinced her to accompany him back to safety. She was taken into custody without incident or force and taken for a mental health evaluation.”

Departing police chief Rick Clark said of Garcia, “It would have been acceptable for Garcia to stay safely on the ground, but he didn’t believe that would have been the most helpful way to handle the situation, so he placed himself in danger. I’m extremely proud of him.”

Clark declined to describe the structure in question, but said that it was “a couple stories” tall and if Garcia had taken a tumble, at best, “it would have hurt.”