Tragedies averted in UC, Martin

Tragedies averted in UC, Martin

Posted: Monday, January 24, 2011 9:53 pm
By: Chris Menees, Staff Reporter

By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
Tragedy was averted twice late Friday night in separate incidents when both Union City and Martin police found themselves dealing with apparent suicide attempts.
Union City police helped a man who apparently was attempting to hang himself about 10:40 p.m. on Nash Street, while Martin police successfully subdued a suicidal man armed with a rifle about 10:15 p.m. at the Martin Recreational Complex.
In the Union City incident, police responded to a report of a man attempting to hang himself and arrived to find the Union City man in a tree in a backyard on Nash Street, according to a Union City Police Department report.
The man had what appeared to be a curtain tied around his neck and had the other end tied around the branch of a tree. He would not acknowledge police and continued to make adjustments to the curtain. After counting to six, he slid his feet off a branch and fell.
A police officer tried to reach the man, but he was too high in the tree and the officer called the Union City Fire Department to respond with a ladder.
After a few seconds, the still-conscious man lifted himself back up onto the branch. Police spoke with the man for a lengthy period of time and he eventually came down. He was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City for evaluation and treatment, according to the report.
In the Martin incident a short time earlier Friday night, officers were dispatched to an attempted suicide call at Westview High School at 8457 Highway 45 South.
Upon arrival, officers did not find the unidentified man at the high school but found his vehicle in the Martin Recreational Complex. They were following the man’s footsteps from his vehicle toward a pavilion when they heard a gunshot from the pavilion area, according to a Martin Police Department press release.
The officers approached the pavilion with caution when, about 50 feet to their right, they found the man on his knees with a rifle to his mouth area.
One of the officers made contact with the man and advised him to take his finger off the trigger of the rifle while the man repeatedly yelled for officers not to approach him. The officer stopped several feet away and continued to try to talk with the man, who then began pulling the gun’s trigger “over and over again” while asking why it wasn’t going off, police reported.
Another officer walked behind the first officer and told him to keep the man distracted while he could move in behind him to use a taser. The first officer saw the man pull the bolt back on the rifle, eject a spent round and chamber another bullet, which resulted in the officer deploying his taser.
Once the man moved the rifle away from his body to look at the bolt region, the officer tasered the man in his torso area. The man fell to his stomach and was taken into custody by police, according to the press release.
The man’s rifle was taken into possession by police and the man was taken to Volunteer Community Hospital in Martin for evaluation before being transported to Western State Hospital in Bolivar by the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 1.24.11

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