Body Cam Footage Shows Moment Police Officer Stops Teen From Jumping in Front of Train

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
December 12, 2018US News
share

Body camera footage captured by a police officer in Illinois shows him stopping a teenager from jumping in front of a train, or a suicide attempt.

The Waukegan Police Department said that officers received a call at 1:40 a.m. on Dec. 11 reporting that a 17-year-old was going to take her own life by standing in front of a passing train. The call was made by the teen’s sister.

A dispatcher located the 17-year-old’s phone by pinging it and officers rushed to the scene.

The footage shows the police officer rushing toward some train tracks as lights turn on indicating that a train is close.

He then spots a teenager moving toward the tracks. “Hey, come here,” the officer says. When the teen appears to move toward the tracks, the officer sprints over and tackles her and the footage ends.

officer tackles girl
A police officer with the Waukegan Police Department was credited with saving the life of a 17-year-old girl who planned to step in front of a passing train on Dec. 11, 2018. He tackled her next to the train tracks. (Waukegan Police Department)

The officer was identified as C. Harris.

The young woman was taken to an area hospital for a psychological evaluation.

“I am extremely proud of these officers who, through their heroic actions, saved the life of a young woman,” Waukegan Police Chief Wayne Walles said in a statement. “I am just as proud of our dispatch professionals who utilized their resources to locate the area of where this young woman was and directed the responding officers to find her.”

Joe Florip, spokesman for the Waukegan Police Department, said that police released the video to highlight mental health issues.

“We thought this might be a huge catalyst for people who need help to get some help. That’s why we included the suicide hotline number in the press release,” he told the Chicago Tribune, referring to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

“We are also very proud of our police and dispatchers for the work they do on a daily basis. Sometimes the public doesn’t realize these are the type of things they are asked to do,” Florip added.

man holding phone to ear
An unidentified man uses his cellphone in a file photo. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Suicide Prevention

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report Vital Signs: Trends in State Suicide Rates on June 8, revealing that suicide rates have increased by 30 percent since 1999. The report points out that there were a variety of factors other than mental health conditions that lead to suicide.

“Suicide rates increased significantly across most states during the span 1999–2016. Various circumstances contributed to suicides among persons with and without known mental health conditions,” the report stated.

If you or someone you know is showing signs that they might be suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 800-273-TALK. You can also text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Suicide hotlines for countries around the world can be found at www.befrienders.org.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.