Washington County deputies praised for "saving man from suicide by cop"

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Officials with the Washington County Sheriff's Office are praising deputies who were able to "save an individual from himself" -- taking a 46-year-old Jackson man into custody on Monday, November 21st without harming him.

It happened just after 2:00 p.m., when deputies were contacted by an acquaintance of the man who reported he was texting suicidal messages while driving somewhere in southeastern Wisconsin.

Deputies looked for the man for more than three hours without success.

An initial investigation suggested he may have taken pills, and was in possession of as many as four guns.

Just after 8:00 p.m., family members located his vehicle in a secluded, marshy area on his property.

Sheriff's officials said deputies arrived, and located the man sitting in tall grass near his vehicle. Officials said due to his lack of cooperation, deputies were not immediately able to approach him.

Sheriff's officials said the man went so far as to tell deputies they would have to shoot him as he advanced to the back of his vehicle.

Against the direct commands of the deputies, officials said he proceeded to open the rear hatch of his vehicle and rummage through his belongings while stating he was going for a gun.  He eventually turned around and started walking towards the deputies.  As he began to reach into his pocket, a deputy was able to get into a position of advantage and deploy a Taser.

He was then taken into custody -- and transported to a treatment facility.

A subsequent investigation revealed the man was highly intoxicated and had ingested dozens of pills before deputies made contact with him. It was learned he did not have a gun.

Sheriff's officials said this in a statement:

"Through great patience, deliberate decision making and good tactics, deputies saved this man from a suicide by cop. Every day there are deputies doing good work in the Washington County community. Tense, high stress confrontations don’t typically make the news when they end peacefully. It’s important for Washington County residents to know that deputies are forced into circumstances that waver amid life and death conditions more than one may think."