POLICE

Saratoga Springs police officer injured by knife in rescue attempt

May 9, 2021, 5:59 PM | Updated: 9:35 pm
Saratoga Springs...
FILE: A Saratoga Springs police vehicle is pictured in Saratoga Springs on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. Photo credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah — The Utah County Sheriff’s Office says an injury suffered by a Saratoga Springs police officer on Sunday afternoon during a rescue attempt in the Eagle Mountain neighborhood of Silver Lake, could have turned out much differently.

And much worse.

Officials initially responded to what was thought to be a natural gas leak.

“And when we arrived,” said Utah County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon, “we learned that there was a gentleman who was suicidal. He was trying to hurt himself in a garage with carbon monoxide.”

According to Cannon, the man didn’t want help.  Cannon said that when police and deputies arrived, the man moved further inside the house. He had barricaded himself into a room, Cannon said. That’s when officials learned the man had a knife.

“That’s what he intended to harm himself with. We learned later that he did harm himself, quite seriously.”

Saratoga Springs officer hurt in rescue attempt

The man again moved further inside the house, into a bathroom with a walk-in closet area. That’s where police and deputies spent about 30 minutes trying to talk the man into coming out.

Cannon said he didn’t make any threats toward the police or deputies, but that he also showed no interest in coming out.

And they knew that the man behind the bathroom door was injured. So they took action.

Cannon said they were able to open the door slightly, and then removed it from its hinges.

“In the process of taking him safely into custody, one of the officers sustained a fairly serious laceration to a finger on his left hand,” Cannon said. “But we got the knife away.”

The Saratoga Springs officer was hospitalized for his injury. And the man in trouble was taken by Life Flight helicopter to a hospital as well.

“The scary thing about a situation like this is that it could have turned out a whole lot worse,” Cannon said.

“It comes to a point where we have to do something to try to help him, and fortunately we were able to get that done without further injury to anybody else.”

Suicide prevention resources

If you or anybody you know are having thoughts of suicide, please know that there are reasons to hope. And there are people waiting to help you. The suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-TALK, or 1-800-273-8255.

Other Crisis Hotlines

Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000; TTY 801-587-8511
Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); TTY 1-800-799-4889
Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ Teens: 1-866-488-7386
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 Press 1; Text to 838255

Online resources

Local Utah Crisis Services
National Alliance on Mental Illness – Utah
Utah Chapter – American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Preventing Suicide

Mobile Apps

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Saratoga Springs police officer injured by knife in rescue attempt