Suburban Hero: Naperville officer keeps man from jumping in call 'that sticks with me'
Naperville police officer Dylan Krueger responded to a call late at night June 3 that he says will stick with him for the entirety of his career.
That was the night Krueger saved a man's life, an action for which he was recently awarded the department's Lifesaving Award and the Edward Hospital Police Officer of the Year.
Officers were dispatched to the north parking garage at Edward Hospital at 11:28 p.m. for a report of a suicidal subject threatening to jump from the top. There was an extensive search of the area before Krueger found the man sitting on the fourth-story ledge.
From a distance, Krueger, 27, said he worked to develop a rapport with the man and within a few minutes had him off the ledge and sitting on the floor of the top level.
"I tried to talk to him not as a police officer but as a human. I introduced myself by my first name and built a rapport with him so he would trust me," Krueger said. "We talked about all kinds of things but mostly basketball."
The whole while, the man was on the phone with his girlfriend. Eventually his phone battery began to die, which again agitated him.
"I called his girlfriend from my work phone. I talked to her and then I reached the phone out. He was reluctant at first but eventually turned to walk toward me," Krueger said. "When he got within a few feet of me and I was 100 percent confident that I wouldn't miss him, I went for it."
He grabbed the man and pulled him to the ground and held him there until other officers were able to assist.
The man was escorted to a waiting ambulance that took him to the emergency room for a psychiatric evaluation.
"That will be the call that sticks with me for the rest of my career," he said. "This was that call that makes you want to be a police officer."
Krueger said he has not been in touch with the man since that night but hopes he received the help he needed.
"Officer Krueger did an exceptional job in speaking with a subject who was in distress," Deputy Police Chief Jason Arres said. "What he did that night, on that parking deck, saved that individual's life and we couldn't be more proud of him."
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