Canton officer’s body camera shows tense moments as police try to save woman’s life

CANTON, Ohio- Police shut down a part of Interstate 77 late Thursday after finding a 45-year-old woman on a retaining wall, threatening to end her life.

The woman climbed a fence to get into a closed area alongside the highway where officers and crisis intervention specialists could not easily get to her.

An officer's body camera shows the woman cursing and demanding they leave.

Instead, for more than 40 minutes, the officers insisted they would stay with the woman, who would not tell them her name.

Officers are seen on the video interacting with a man on a bike who said that just before they arrived a man who appeared to be her brother was trying to tell her, "Don't do it; don't do it."

"When officers respond to someone in crisis it is a very vulnerable moment for that person and the officers have to take that into consideration when dealing with that person with the utmost patience and restraint," said Canton Police Captain Dave Davis.

Throughout the dialogue with the woman, police felt they were not making much progress so they ultimately decided that something more needed to be done.

"One of our fundamental functions as law enforcement officers is the protection of life and so we take that very seriously. These officers negotiated with her for more than 40 minutes before they realized that they were going to have to resort to other measures to get her off of the retaining wall," said Davis.

Officers turned sirens on several of their cruisers as a distraction so that they could come from behind her without being heard and were able to pull her to safety.

Police say these type of calls happen more often than people may realize.

Around 70 officers with the Canton Police Department alone are trained in crisis intervention techniques.

Davis says police also work very closely with experts on the Stark County Mental Health Quick Response team who are able to get someone to a scene within 25 minutes of being called.

On Thursday, their patience and training paid off.

The woman was walked to the highway where she was assured that she was not under arrest, but would be taken to a place where she could get some help.