Three members of the Oakdale Police Department were recognized for heroic action on Monday night, Feb. 2 stemming from a 2014 incident where a man threatened his family with a knife and who attempted to take his own life in the process.
The incident arose when Sergeant Brian Shimmel and Officer Julio Rosa were sent to an unknown disturbance call on Sixth Avenue.
“Disturbance calls are some of the most dangerous you can go to,” said Oakdale Police Chief Lester Jenkins when presenting the award in front of the audience attending the city council session. “You never know what level you are going to get.”
Chief Jenkins said when Sergeant Shimmel arrived at the complex, neighbors identified the apartment where the disturbance was and loud calls for help could be heard.
Sgt. Shimmel attempted to force open the door, but a male subject used his weight to slam it shut.
When Sgt. Shimmel finally forced his way in, he saw the male subject holding a large knife stating he was going to kill himself. The subject then began to cut his own throat.
According to Chief Jenkins, Sgt. Shimmel launched himself and physically restrained the subject, eventually taking him to the ground, but the man still attempted to stab himself and was thrashing the knife about.
Officer Rosa arrived and assisted Shimmel to prevent the subject from trying to cause more damage to himself or even Sgt. Shimmel as the man continued to stab at his own neck and chest.
Officer Rosa then deployed his Taser, which was effective. When the subject dropped the knife, Officer Rosa kicked it away and then restrained the subject with handcuffs.
The subject had inflicted serious injury upon himself and blood was rapidly flowing from his neck as he continued to resist. The officers applied first aid to compress the wound to prevent him from bleeding out until the arrival of medical units.
For their efforts, Sgt. Shimmel was awarded the department’s Medal of Valor and Officer Rosa was presented with the Unit Citation Medal.
Dispatcher Annie Lemons was also awarded the Unit Citation Medal due to her performance during the situation, including directing the female victim to secure the children at a safe location away from the male prior to police arrival and summoning medical responders, all while managing communications with the field units.
Chief Jenkins pointed out to the council the importance of having experienced personnel on the department, stating that less tenured officers, even though it would have been justified, may have had to resort to deadly force.