Richmond Officer Prevents Woman From Taking Her Life, Police Say

ArtOlympic, Shuttershock

Kimberly Eade Contributor
Font Size:

A police officer in Richmond, Virginia, talked a woman out of taking her life on Nov. 3 after she had drenched herself in gasoline and threatened to set herself on fire, CBS 6 News reported Tuesday.

“I could smell the presence of gasoline on her and gasoline spilled on the sidewalk,” Richmond Police Officer Jason Jones stated, according to CBS 6 News. “You could see her phone in one hand and she was holding a lighter in her other hand.” The woman repeated her life was not worth living, but Jones told her it was worth it several times, and spoke with her for a half hour, per CBS 6 News.

Richmond, VA – January 20, 2020: Police vehicle blocking a downtown street as armed protesters march against new gun control laws enacted by the government. Lobby Day in Virginia becomes protest. Seth Michael, Shutterstock

Jones reportedly asked if she would drop the lighter. “Hey, listen, I’ve helped you. I’ve listened to you. I understand what you’re going through. Do you mind helping me and just dropping the lighter?”

She dropped the lighter and was taken to a hospital, per the outlet. Jones said the best way to help anyone experiencing a mental health crisis is to treat them like a person. “Outside of this uniform, I’m a person just like you,” Jones said, according to CBS 6 News.

Jones attended Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training three years prior to the incident that teaches officers how to respond to mental health crises, CBS 6 News reported. About 80% of Richmond Police attended CIT training, but the goal is to reach 100%. Officer Jones was awarded The Annual Valor Award when he and his work partner, Officer Spence prevented a suicide attempt last year. The award honors individuals that put themselves in danger to “preserve the safety of our community”, reports CBS 6 News. (RELATED: Protesters Assault Two Officers Near Richmond Robert E Lee Statue, Police Say)