By Kevin Deutsch
Three Coconut Creek Police officers were recognized with department commendations Thursday for saving a city resident’s life in April.
Officers Ty Morgan, Patrick Schlachter, and Dondrell Luberice earned the police department’s Lifesaving Commendation Award for their April 24 rescue of a man who was attempting suicide by hanging, according to city records.
The commendations were personally awarded to the officers at Thursday’s city commission meeting.
“You were the first officer on scene and observed the male subject hanging from his second-floor balcony railing by a bed sheet,” Coconut Creek Police Chief Albert Arenal wrote in Morgan’s commendation letter. “You immediately began to lift the male up by his legs in order to take tension off of the bed sheet. Officer Schlachter then arrived and was able to cut through the bed sheet with a knife. Both you and Officer Schlachter then lowered the male to the ground and began rendering aid.”
Luberice then arrived on the scene and “immediately assisted with trying to remove the tightly-tied bed sheet from the male’s neck,” Arenal wrote.
“Officer Luberice stuck his fingers between the bed sheet and the male’s neck while you and Officer Schlachter used two sets of trauma sheers to safely cut away the remaining sheet obstructing the airway.
“Once the sheet was removed, the male began to breathe again. If not for your expedient, lifesaving actions, this male victim may have followed through with his suicide attempt and not survived.”
Arenal said he awarded the commendations with “great pride” in the officers’ performance and thanked them for their lifesaving work.
- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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