This week at the Kent City Council Meeting, local lawmakers and police honored community members and police officers, who recently came together to save the life of a man who intended to jump from a parking garage sky bridge.
Several were awarded for their collective and individual acts that brought this man to safety, including one man who left his granddaughter’s birthday party to bring a bounce house to the scene.
It’s a heartwarming, feel good story, and here’s more info from Kent Police:
Mr. Scott Kober accepts Chief’s Award for Citizen Commendation
On March 4, 2022, Kent Police officers responded to a suicidal subject who was threatening to jump from the parking garage sky bridge. Officers were able to get in contact with Mr. Scott Kober from Super Jump Rentals in Auburn. Even though he was currently at his granddaughter’s birthday party he immediately prepared to deliver two, 14’x14′ inflatable bounce houses.
Once Kober arrived, the bounce houses were set up within minutes. Upon successful resolution of the incident, Kober promptly returned and took down the bounce houses.
Kober is being commended for his professionalism and genuine care for the public as the bounce houses would have most certainly saved the man’s life if he did decide to jump. This was an unusual request and after normal business hours. Kober did not hesitate and dropped everything he was doing to assist the Kent Police Department, the victim, and the public.
Sergeants Johnson & Butenschoen, Officers Flesher & Holloman
Chief’s Award of Exceptional Duty
A Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority ladder truck had responded but in consultation with fire personnel it was determined they were not prepared to place a firefighter on the ladder to make contact with the man due to the risk involved. Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson immediately volunteered to take on that dangerous duty.
Sergeant Johnson coordinated with fire personnel and, using their safety equipment, was ultimately raised into position on the ladder where he secured the subject who had agreed to come down after an hour and a half of negotiations.
Sergeant Dan Butenschoen took command of the incident and began organizing resources in a calm and methodical manner to include requesting a ladder truck from the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority and facilitating officers as they connected with a local business that ultimately provided children’s inflatable bounce houses that would significantly mitigate the risk in the event the man jumped.
Sergeant Butenschoen declined to be relieved at the end of his shift as he wished to see the incident through. The man eventually agreed to come down and was rescued by police personnel using the fire ladder.
Officers Flesher & Holloman
Officers Matthew Flesher and Clark Holloman immediately began calling local gymnastics businesses and were met with negative results. They persisted and were able to get in touch with Scott Kober from Super Jump Rentals and he had two 14’x14’ inflatable bounce houses to deliver.
Officer Flesher met Mr. Kober on HWY 167 and provided him a police escort to the scene as time appeared to be running out. Officers Flesher and Holloman then assisted Mr. Kober with setting up the bounce houses. They had already secured power ahead of time. Officer Flesher also contacted the Mobile Crisis Team to be on standby at the scene.
Recruitment Officer Cortinas and Detective Sergeant Koehler
Officer Brian Cortinas was the first person to make verbal contact and quickly established a rapport with the man. Sergeant Koehler arrived on scene 10 minutes later and they both spent an hour and a half talking with the man and deescalating the situation.
They were able to successfully communicate with him and get him to agree to come down.
All of the award recipients exemplified our department’s mission statement of protecting and caring for people in our community, our value of service, and our vision of improving the lives of our community members.
You can find crisis resources here: https://www.crisisconnections.org/24-hour-crisis-line/