Deputy Hunsberger, Sergeant Keith being congratulated by Sheriff Smith
Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that he has officially commended a deputy sheriff and a sergeant for their actions in preventing a suicide. Sheriff Smith has conferred Sheriff’s Commendation Medals and uniform award ribbons upon Sergeant Timothy Keith and Deputy Sheriff Daniel Hunsberger for saving the life of a despondent 53-year-old man who tried to hang himself outside his Southeast residence on November 25, 2015. The awards were presented at a ceremony held at the Sheriff’s Office on February 16, 2016.
Back on the evening of November 25th of last year, Sgt. Keith and Deputy Hunsberger were dispatched to the man’s home after the Sheriff’s Office received a third-party request to check on his welfare. They pulled their patrol cars into the man’s driveway, and as they walked toward the home they encountered the man standing on a ladder alongside the garage, with a metal cable looped around his neck and attached to the garage roof. They tried to talk the man down, but he jumped off the ladder and began to be strangled by the cable noose.
Sergeant Keith and Deputy Hunsberger sprang instantly into action. They scrambled up the ladder and lifted and supported the man’s weight, even as he resisted and tried to push them away. Unable to loosen or cut the cable, the pair managed to use brute force to break a roof support to which the cable was attached. As the cable detached from the roof, all three men fell hard to the ground.
Sheriff Donald Smith invites Putnam County residents to have a voluntary vessel inspection done by one of his Deputies assigned to the Marine Unit. In an attempt to educate the community on safe boating, Deputies will advise boaters of the required safety equipment and boating regulations in New York State. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Marine Unit patrols Lake Mahopac, Oscawana Lake and the Hudson River.