The quick actions of an observant Fairview Township Police officer prevented a young boy from jumping off a second-story balcony early Monday morning.
The 11-year-old boy, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital for evaluation and treatment after the incident, according to police.
Officer Bill Buzzard, a nine-year veteran of the department, was on patrol when he saw a teenage girl standing in the parking lot of Motel 6, 200 Commerce Drive the township, about 2:30 a.m.
Thinking it odd for a teen to be out at that hour, Buzzard stopped and, after speaking with the girl, learned that her father was searching for her brother, said Lt. Jason Loper of Fairview Township Police.
"It just happened to be one of those things that he (Buzzard) was driving by," Loper said.
A short time later, the girl's father and brother returned. The parents were having difficulty controlling the boy, but they were able to get him back into the second-floor room they are staying in, police said.
Grabbed: As Buzzard was talking with the boy's parents, whose last listed address was that of the motel, the boy ran out of the room onto the balcony, yelled that he wanted to kill himself and was going to jump as he partially climbed over the railing.
The boy had one leg over the railing when a fast-acting Buzzard grabbed him and pulled him to safety, Loper said.
The boy, who has a history of apparent mental health issues, continued to make statements that he wanted to die and was involuntarily taken to a hospital, Loper said.
"It's unusual that we have a child that young" doing something like that, the lieutenant said.
Loper praised the quick actions of Buzzard, saying that if the officer hadn't been observant and hadn't seen the teenage girl and stopped, the situation could have had a tragic ending.
"We're just glad he (Buzzard) was there and paying attention," Loper said.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.