Law enforcement officers are challenged daily in the performance of their duties; they face each encounter freely and unselfishly while answering the call to duty. In certain instances, their actions warrant special attention from their respective departments. The Bulletin also wants to recognize those situations that transcend the normal rigors of the law enforcement profession.
Officers Karl Meister, Brad Wood, Bryan Straw, Mike Jarvis, and Lucas Tiberi of the La Vista, Nebraska, Police Department saved the life of a suicidal 26-year-old man.
Early one morning, the officers responded to a verbal domestic disturbance between a man and woman in an apartment building’s parking lot. When they arrived, the woman told the officers that the man became upset, went into a garage unit, and locked the door. She further said he was in a car in the garage and planned to kill himself. The woman did not know if he was armed.
After the officers spent a few minutes trying to start a dialogue with the man, one of them noticed liquid seeping out from under the garage door. Suddenly, the liquid ignited into flames. The man had poured gasoline onto the floor of the unit and lit it on fire in an attempt to kill himself.
The officers retrieved fire extinguishers from their vehicles and tried to put out the fire while also kicking the garage panels in hopes of getting inside. One officer reached into the garage and recovered four 5-gallon containers of high-octane fuel. All the containers were full except for the one the man had poured onto the ground. Thankfully, none of the others caught fire.
When the officers created an opening big enough to get through, one officer provided cover for the others as they entered the garage, in case the man was armed. Believing the man was inside the car, the officers broke one of its windows. Ultimately, they found him tucked in the front of the vehicle, unconscious. The officers carried him out of the garage and began medical treatment.
Fire units arrived on scene and transported the man to a local hospital, where he was treated and then taken to a mental health facility. Several of the officers received treatment for smoke inhalation.
Officer Karl Meister
Officer Bryan Straw
Officer Lucas Tiberi
Officer Brad Wood
Officer Mike Jarvis
Nominations for the Bulletin Notes should be based on either the rescue of one or more citizens or an arrest(s) made at unusual risk to an officer’s safety. Submissions should include a short write-up, a separate photograph of each nominee, and a letter from the department’s ranking officer endorsing the nomination. Submissions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Editor, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA 22135.