Sheriff's deputies worked almost four hours to convince a suicidal man to surrender for a mental evaluation Tuesday night in Christiana, a sheriff's supervisor said.
Patrol Sgt. Derek Oeser began communicating with the 41-year-old suicidal man through text messages after deputies could not locate him. The man turned himself in for a mental evaluation about 12:15 a.m. Wednesday. He was taken to St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital for treatment.
The response began when a witness contacted the Sheriff's Office dispatchers to report he saw the man trying to take his life about 8:30 p.m.outside his home on Eaglesham Drive, said Sgt. Oeser. The witness said the man retreated into his home.
Deputies responded within seven minutes and tried multiple times to contact the man but he did not respond. They tried to contact him several times.
The SWAT team's Special Response Team entered the home about 10:30 p.m. to search for the man but did not locate him.
Sgt. Oeser received text messages from the man who reported he was walking in the area. K-9 deputies and their dogs searched for the man. Sgt. Oeser started texting with the man until he agreed to turn himself in.
Deputy Chief Keith Lowery said the deputies safely secured the man for medical attention.
"The actions of the deputies are highly commendable and just another example of the capabilities, professionalism and commitment of our deputies," Chief Lowery said.