Two sheriff’s deputies with “quiet courage” were praised for saving the life of a suicidal woman who threatened to jump from a railroad bridge in Pico Rivera.
The incident took place on the bridge at Rivera Road and Passons Boulevard where deputies Michael Stocz and Brandon Longoria encountered the woman leaning over a 25-foot drop to the street below, according to sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva.
The woman was holding onto the railway with her hands, her back facing the railroad tracks and her arms were extended behind her, Villanueva said.
After waiting for a train to pass, Stocz and Longoria approached the woman and asked if they could move closer to talk to her.
“When they were within 50 feet, Deputy Stocz was able to talk to her for approximately 10 minutes, and developed a rapport with her,” Villanueva said.
The woman told Stocz she wanted to end her life because of the recent death of a close friend, according to Villanueva.
She then threw a piece of folded paper, which happened to be a suicide note, from her pocket onto the railroad tracks and Stocz asked if he could read the note.
“When she agreed, this allowed him to move within a few feet of her,” Villanueva said.
At this point the young woman had her arms fully extended, eyes closed, and her face was looking upwards, prompting Stocz to lunge forward and grab both of her arms, Villanueva said.
Longoria moved quickly to assist Stocz, and they were able to pull the woman over the railing and on to the ground, where she was detained, Villanueva said.
The woman was taken by Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel to a hospital Tuesday for further evaluation and professional care services.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell praised the deputies’ actions.
“Every day, our deputies perform acts of quiet courage and compassion that are rarely seen and almost never captured on video,” McDonnell said.
“This is a positive reminder of the commitment that law enforcement makes every day to save the lives of others.”
—City News Service