Six police officers came to the rescue of a 25-year-old woman who threatened to jump off a ledge on the upper level of Terminal 1 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the early afternoon Thursday, September 13th, airport police said.
The officers, five from the Airport Police Division of Los Angeles World Airports (the city agency that operates LAX) and one from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), which has a substation at LAX, quickly responded to the report of a woman standing on a ledge near Skyway and World Way North and managed to bring her to safety within minutes, said Lt. Curtis Thompson, acting patrol commander for the Airport Police.
“The officers did a very heroic job in moving to save this woman’s life,” Thompson said. “We’re very proud of those officers for taking that initiative.”
An attendant with an airport parking company flagged down police officers in the area at about 12:45 p.m. and told them that he saw the woman standing on the upper/departure level of Terminal 1 while holding a pair of scissors, Thompson said.
Airport police officers Mark Almaraz, Eduardo Angel, Miguel Morante, Loretta Jones and Kendra Williams arrived at the scene, along with LAPD officer Ronald McNally. Some helped to clear the area and the others tried to convince the woman to come off the ledge.
The woman, who is from San Francisco, told officers that she had arrived at LAX with her boyfriend and they had an argument. She indicated to officers that she was having “some type of domestic issue,” Thompson said.
When her boyfriend stopped the vehicle on the upper level of Terminal 1, the woman got out, holding a pair of scissors, and walked to the ledge, where she threatened to jump to the lower level, Thompson said.
Officers Angel and Morante went to the lower level to stop traffic as a precaution, while the other four officers stayed on the upper level to assist the woman.
Officers Jones and McNally approached the woman and began to talk with her, trying to convince her to put down the scissors, Thompson said.
After about ten minutes of talking to her, the officers were able to get close enough to grab the woman and pull her back over the guard rail to safety, he said.
The woman was later taken to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Torrance, where she was to receive a 72-hour psychiatric evaluation, Thompson said.
Law enforcement officials at the airport praised the efforts of the six officers in coming to the woman’s aid.
“Our officers really have a general concern for the well being of citizens,” Thompson said. “We commend them for the fine job they did in saving this woman’s life.
“The actions they did exemplify our mission and what we stand for.”