A quick-thinking San Diego police officer was credited for saving the lives of three members of a California family.
The K9 officer used his dog leash and Marine training to help save a 47-year-old suicidal man who was driving with his twin 2-year-old daughters. The man was tracked to an area by the ocean known as Sunset Cliffs, where a police lieutenant saw the truck drive off the cliff.
Officer Jonathan Wiese used a 100-foot leash to help him to rappel down the cliff to the truck. He said it was by sheer luck that everyone was alive as the truck landed upside down on a rock, which would have killed the girls if they had been sitting in the backseat instead of on their father’s lap.
“I could see him and he had one of the girls in his arms, and I have a two-year-old daughter at home so I imagined, what if that was my wife and kid down there? You’re not going to stand there on the cliff and watch it happen,” Wiese said. He looped the leash around him “and by then four or five other cops had shown up so I pretty much threw the end of the leash to them and then I said hang on and I just jumped off.”
After arriving at the rocks, he swam, fully clothed, to rescue the man and the girls. His Marine Corps training kicked in as they taught him how to do water safety rescues and he grabbed the man under the armpit, pushed him, and held both above water.
He mentioned that one of the girls was alert while the other wasn’t. Wiese performed what he termed “rescue breathing” until officers lowered a backpack with supplies to him via dog leash. He used them to haul up the girls. While they waited for a helicopter to lift the man to safety, he told Wiese that he was going to die and the girls were coming with him.
The man has been held on a charge of attempted murder, and San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said Wiese saved the girls’ lives. “That’s probably the most heroic thing I’ve seen in my 32 years,” he said.
“I didn’t do the job to be liked every day, I didn’t do it to become rich, I did it because I want to be out there making a difference and helping people, as cliche as that might sound, but I was just glad I could be there,” Wiese said.
Thanks to the heroic act of this brave San Diego police officer, the girls’ lives were saved. Without his intervention, one can only imagine the potential tragedy.