Sergeant Rainville and Officer Rivera went directly to the rooftop and began talking with the woman who was distraught and intoxicated and drinking from a wine bottle. The woman had climbed over the four foot rooftop fence and was standing on a six inch ledge. During their conversation, the woman told the officers her name and said she had been fired from her job the previous day and wanted to commit suicide by jumping off the roof. Sergeant Rainville and Officer Rivera tried to talk her off of the ledge but she was adamant she was going to jump. NHFD and NHPD arrived on scene and two officers joined their efforts.
Sergeant Rainville and Officer Rivera, along with NHPD officers, made several attempts to get close enough to pull the woman to safety. However, every time they did so she would become agitated, yell for them to step back, tell them she wanted to die, and let go of the fence and lean back as though she were going to let herself fall off the roof. The officers continued to talk to the woman for forty minutes before Sergeant Rainville, Officer Rivera, and NHPD officers managed to get close enough to attempt a rescue. An NHPD officer quickly grabbed one of the woman's arm, while Officer Rivera and other NHPD officers grabbed her other arm. Sergeant Rainville had removed his duty belt earlier in anticipation of attempting to rescue the woman. While officers were holding her by the arms, Sergeant Rainville jumped over the fence and pinned the woman against the fence until she was pulled to safety.
Sergeant Rainville and Officer Rivera risked their own personal safety and displayed tremendous bravery and courage in the face of grave danger. The successful conclusion of this incident was a direct result of their actions and the collaborative efforts of NHPD, NHFD, and YPD. A tragedy was averted due to the manner in which Sergeant Rainville and Officers Grant and Rivera handled the situation, as well as the vigilance of Dispatcher Mascola and Malloon who read the CAD call and immediately put a broadcast out to alert YPD units. Sergeant Rainville, Officer Grant, Officer Rivera, and Dispatchers Mascolo and Malloon are a credit to YPD and the public safety profession.
They are all to be commended for a job well done!
Ronnell A. Higgins
Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Yale University