Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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March 20, 2014

Police rescue suicidal woman from 12th floor

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — By smashing through the window of an apartment on the top floor of Urban Park Towers, two Lockport Police detectives rescued a woman who had been threatening to commit suicide.

Detectives Kevin Schrader and Travis Mapes were raised in the bucket of a city Fire Department ladder truck to the 12th floor of 77 Main St. at about 3:30 p.m. on a windy Thursday afternoon. The two entered the apartment by breaking through the double-paned window, which led to a little debris failing to the road.

Mapes and Schrader dove into the apartment and grabbed the woman, who was not injured. She was taken to the mental health unit of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for evaluation, Police Chief Larry Eggert said.

The incident started when officers were called to Urban Park at about 2 p.m. to meet with the building manager and the woman’s relatives, who said she had a history of mental illness. Eggert said the building management found out about the woman's threats and called the police. Staffers from the Niagara County Mental Health Department were called in as well.

Police said the woman could be heard inside the apartment damaging property, but the woman would not answer the door. The woman, whose age was not available, had barricaded herself inside the apartment by stacking furniture against the front door, Eggert said.

"Every bit of her furniture was stacked against the door," Eggert said.

Eggert said the fire department's ladder truck was called because of a concern that if police knocked down the door, the woman might jump out the window.

"They were afraid she'd run around (to the other windows,) the bucket only covered one window," Eggert said. "They were afraid she would run around and jump out the other window."

Mapes and Schrader used the ladder truck's bucket to get an eye on the woman, who was sitting in the apartment when the pair reached the top floor, Eggert said. When attempts to enter the apartment failed again, the detectives went in through the window, 11 stories above ground.

At just before 3 p.m. Main Street was blocked off between Pine and Locust/Market streets. The barricade lasted about an hour and the window was boarded up.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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