Police graduate’s intervention saves woman from jumping
Posted on: October 30, 2012
As a former army combat medic, Kevin Lagatella is constantly, unconsciously alert.
Sometimes it still saves lives.
In August 2012 while the Tiki Island police officer and COM Police Academy graduate was driving home, he noticed a vehicle sitting on the side of the overpass, apparently having trouble.
“It looked peculiar,” said Lagatella.
He doubled back to get a closer look and saw the driver on the ledge of the overpass.
“She was perched to jump,” he said.
A trained negotiator, he attempted to calm her, but she remained on the ledge apparently still contemplating suicide.
After Texas City police officerincluding another COM graduate Capt. Brian Goetschius, arrived on the scene, one distracted her while Lagatella ran to her and pulled her off the ledge as she resisted. Texas City police officers spoke with her and took her to Ben Taub for a mental evaluation.
Fortunately in this situation, Lagatella is no stranger to handling stressful situations.
In addition his four years in the army, he also worked as a private security contractor in Iraq.
When he returned to the U.S., he looked for another action-packed public service role.
“You have to do something to feed the hunger,” he said. “Doing what I did with action and constant adrenaline, police work is the closest thing to it.”
He looked into several schools and chose COM Police Academy after being impressed by the instructors’ expertise in their areas of law enforcement.
“The world of experience that comes from active instructors led me to go to the COM academy,” he said.
Since graduating, he’s had extensive training including SWAT, hostage negotiation and crisis intervention training.
For one woman, his vigilance and expertise made an impact.