Three DeWitt police officers and one Clinton County Sheriff’s deputy received honors for their roles in helping save multiple lives.
DeWitt officer Jacob Costas received the Meritorious Service Award, the department’s second-highest honor. It is given to an officer when they perform an act to help another person while putting their own life in danger.
Costas was bequeathed the award for his effort at the May 18 DeWitt City Council meeting.
On January 28, Costas had been dispatched to a domestic disturbance involving a suicidal subject, said DeWitt Police Chief Dave Porter. It was relayed that the subject was intoxicated and had been carrying around a handgun all day.
Upon Costas’ arrival, he immediately made contact with the subject and “tried to talk him down,” Porter said. This action agitated the subject, and he pulled the handgun from his waistband.
“He then raised his weapon to point it at you, and you responded quickly and drew your weapon and ordered him to put down the weapon,” Porter said.
Costas, while his weapon was drawn, convinced the subject to lower his weapon and toss it on the ground.
“Because of your calm dialogue and extraordinary restraint on the night of January 28, and by bringing a volatile situation to a peaceful ending by putting your personal safety at great risk, I am awarding you the department’s Meritorious Service Award,” Porter said.
Saving suicidal subjects
On March 3 around noon, DeWitt Police officers Nickolas Grant and Justin Witt responded to a residence in DeWitt to check up on the welfare of a resident, Porter said.
Upon arrival, Witt and Grant assessed the situation and searched the property and eventually approached the garage. They made a forced entry into the garage and found a male subject hanging from the rafters on a rope.
Witt grabbed the subject while Grant quickly cut the rope with a pocket knife.
After being cut down, the subject began breathing on his own, Porter said.
For their actions, Witt and Grant were awarded the department’s Life Saving Medal Award.
In a separate incident, on February 19, Costas – alongside Clinton County deputy Zachary Lange – responded to a call in Grand Mound for a suicidal subject. Costas and Lange knocked on the apartment door and received no response, Porter said.
Costas opened the door and observed a female lying face down in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor. Costas and Lange quickly searched the apartment for potential threats. Finding none, they began medical treatment on the female, who had deep cuts on both arms and was unconscious, Porter said. She also had no pulse.
Costas and Lange applied tourniquets to the female’s arms the hooked her up to an automated external defibrillator. They then began dressing her wounds to keep her stable until emergency crews arrived.
“It is clear the actions of Officer Costas and Deputy Lange during this incident saved the life of the individual,” Porter said.
For their actions, Costas and Lange received the Life Saving Award.
“Truly amazing work,” DeWitt City Administrator Steve Lindner said to the award winners. “The reaction and calmness you guys have is truly something else. Among all the other things going on. Unbelievable.”