A 44-year-old woman’s life was saved when three sheriff’s deputies prevented her from falling several stories at the Long Beach Courthouse Tuesday afternoon during a suicide attempt. The woman was reportedly distraught following a family law matter, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD).
The incident happened at the Gov. George Deukmejian Courthouse, located at 275 Magnolia Avenue, at about 4:00PM.
When the court proceeding ended, the woman was “visibly upset and she threatened to commit suicide as she ran from the third floor courtroom and up the escalator,” according to a statement from the sheriff’s department.
A person at the courthouse who heard her threats flagged down Deputy Joseph Bennett in the third floor hallway and told him what he had seen.
“Deputy Bennett initiated a radio broadcast for assistance and ran up the escalator in search of the suicidal woman,” the statement read. “When Deputy Bennett reached the fifth floor landing at the top of the escalator, he saw the woman had climbed over the five-foot tall glass partition that separates the fifth floor landing from the lobby floor down below.”
Officials described the woman as despondent and crying as her body dangled over the lobby floor with only her hands gripping the top of the glass partition.
“Deputy Bennett immediately reached over the glass partition, grabbed the woman’s left wrist, and held her entire body weight with both of his hands to keep her from falling five stories to the lobby floor down below,” according to the statement.
Seconds later, deputies Danny Delgadillo and Ivan Delatorre arrived and assisted Bennett in pulling the woman up and over the glass partition to safety.
“Although the woman did not appear to have any injuries, she was evaluated at the scene by paramedics from the Long Beach Fire Department” according to the statement. “The woman was subsequently transported to a local hospital and placed on a 72-hour hold for mental health evaluation.”
City News Service contributed to this report.