Police officers who risked their own safety to save the life of a suicidal man have been given a national bravery award.
Insp David Peach, PC Richard Cost and PS Darren Greenwood have all be honoured by the Royal Humane Society for their role in helping a mentally ill man who threatened officers and his family with knives, a hammer and crowbar.
The man had fled Fieldhead hospital where he was being treated in April and barricaded himself in the roof of a garage in Ossett.
Despite attempts by officers, the man refused to come out and armed himself with tools he found in the garage.
Insp David Peach, head of the Southern Area Roads Policing unit, said: “He was very angry and violent and he wasn’t responding to us. Then it all got very nasty. He used a hammer to break through the garage roof from the inside and started to throw tools at everybody.”
The unarmed officers gave him time to cool off and after a while the noise coming from the garage stopped.
Insp Peach, a trained negotiator, went in to try and talk to him again.
He said: “When I went in I could hear he was struggling to breathe. I got up on the ladder to try and talk to him but I was faced with a barricade he had made to protect himself. Then I saw that he was hanging from an electrical wire.”
Insp Peach dismantled the barricade and the man was taken to hospital.
He said: “It was a difficult situation for everybody involved – especially his parents who were there throughout what happened.
“This man was extremely upset and thought the only way out was to end his own life. But the end result was he made a full recovery and he got the treatment he needed.
“We were just doing our job – that’s what we get paid for.”
PC Cost and PS Greenwood have been awarded certificates of commendation, and Insp Peach has been given a testimonial on parchment.
Dick Wilkinson, Royal Humane Society secretary, said: “These three officers richly deserve these awards.”