Story 3

One of the most dangerous calls a police officer can go on is a domestic violence call. Not so much of the unknown danger behind the door, but also because the spouse that called the police usually or sometimes get a change of heart and want to fight police for attempting or actually arresting their significant other. This can sometimes lead to a double arrest of the other spouse as well, but sometimes the other spouse may get a reprieve only because they are so emotional, and the situation is very delicate and sensitive. I think one of the saddest calls that a police officer can go on is of a suicide scene that involves a young person or college student, who felt like there was no other way to escape the situation but to end their own life. This is exactly what happened from my point of view, although our detectives investigated the case, I am not sure what the underlying causes were, but either way another young, college student ended their life over not wanting to disappoint her family appeared.

Again, on the evening shift, but it wasn’t too long after we had begun our shift. I say it was probably somewhere between 1800-1900hrs, when the call came out over the radio, directly to me, that a female student has attempted to harm herself by cutting her wrists. Originally, hearing that call, I am expecting to see massive amounts of blood all over the floor, maybe the sheets, the cutting instrument and maybe a friend by her side freaking out. I was told that fireboard (ambulance) is on the way and that incident is in a room inside a dorm somewhere near the top floors. On my way there to the call traveling at high speeds with my lights and siren activated, I am going over in my head of what will I do if I see certain things in the room, if she’s passed out or whatever I could think of that I could possibly face at the scene when I get there. Well, I may have gotten at the dorm within minutes after the call, and followed other students into the building, who had no clue of why I was there. One of the student desk attendants confirmed with me of what floor the call was originally for as I entered the elevator. I had to be on the elevator with at least three other people, who had no clue of why I was there still.

As the elevator doors opened, one of the three people went right and the other two went left. I initially went right in searching for the room on the floor I am on, but realized I was going the wrong way. So I turned around quickly, passed the elevators and went through a set of double doors in front of me. Immediately, after going through the double doors, I saw two female’s standing in the middle of the hallway in tears and consoling each other. One of them saw me and pointed into the room of where she was and I entered the room. As I rounded the corner of the door and entered, it was nothing that I was prepared for and a different scene other that what was described over the radio. The first thing I noticed was a raised bed, with a dresser underneath and a girl hanging from underneath the bed frame. As I entered further into the bedroom, I saw another female in the room, also in tears, and I had to tell her to exit the room and close the door from anyone else viewing the scene. Other officers arrived on scene, as well as fireboard, while I was in the room trying to make sense of it. Trying not to touch anything in the room, I noticed her suicide note on her desk, and by only reading the first few lines it mentioned something about disappointment and family.

While continuing to observe the scene, by reflex I ended up cutting the extremely tight scarf that was wrapped around her neck, and tied to the bed frame above her. Rigormortis had definitely set in, and her body had rested on her knees, and it took a while before gravity too affect. For some reason, I had called for the other officer to come upstairs with a medical bag not thinking at that moment that any medical attempts to her will be fruitless. From my observations of the scene, prior to the detectives being called, she was there for ten to twelve hours, with purple and blue all around her lips and face making it obvious that she was sadly no longer with us. Of course, the hard part was phoning her other two roommates, and telling them the news and informing them not to come back to school, and their room, for the remainder of the week. I might have been on the scene for at least two hours before I was told that I could leave it in the detective’s hands. From our initial investigation of the scene, we were not able to get a sense from anyone, who knew the victim, of why she would do this and how her attitude was prior to her roommates leaving the school.

This was not my first time seeing a lifeless body in my career there in Maryland, but that didn’t stop others from giving me the stigma that death follows me around on welfare checks and sick/injured person calls. More stories shall reveal what and how that stigma came about. Another young life was lost due to the pressures of either family, life, friends or who else knows besides her and God, but this tells you that when someone is bound to commit suicide, take their own life, you may not even see or notice the warning signs until it is too late to do anything about it. Pay attention to your loved ones and your friends, and hope they pay close attention to you as well. This was the second time that I was called to a suicide of a college student, and no one knew of anything that would cause the person to choose such drastic measures. We can say that they are selfish in only thinking of themselves, which I agree, but that won’t go very far with the hurting families and friends. Going to college, for most young adults, is very stressful and for most it is the first time away from home, and it could cause them to act all juvenile-ish or go into deep depression and homesick. If you have a daughter or son in college or going to college, please be aware of their needs and listen to them and be aware of any signs of issues and problems. You need to avoid situations like this in the future and make sure the road ahead is paved very well; not full of potholes where the axles finally give out.

Henry Scott


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