For the second time this week, quick response and action by police officers prevents a despondent man from taking his own life.

Carolina K. Smith,M.D.

Howell Township police report that a despondent 21-year-old who attempted to hang himself was rescued by three officers on October 16, three days before Toms River police intervened for a distraught man and delivered him to hospitalization.

Officers Richard Robertiello, Nicholas Austin and Daniel Bozza were summoned to Aldrich Road, near Aldrich School, at about 9 PM Sunday, according to Sergeant Christian Antunez. There, they found the young man's car, empty.

Family and friends told the officers that texts they received led them to the conclusion that he was a threat to himself.

Police immediately searched the school area, fields and neighborhoods, then plunged into the woods near the school in total darkness.

Using flashlights, advancing about 100 feet into the forested area, Robertiello found him, hanging by the neck from a tree, unconscious, about a foot of space separating him from the ground, police said.

Austin and Bozza lifted the unconscious man to slacken the rope and reduce pressure on his neck as Robertiello cut the line and all three began administering first aid.

When he regained consciousness, he was hospitalized for treatment. Police said he sustained no life-threatening injuries.

Chief Andrew Kudrick credited family, friends, dispatchers and officers, issuing the following statement:

"The quick and decisive actions by our patrol officers as well as the telecommunicators who coordinated the response are directly responsible for saving this young man's life. Any delay or misstep during that call would have resulted in an opposite and sad ending. Lives would have been entirely changed forever. I'm proud of my personnel however, I'm not surprised. They are highly competent and professional. We wish this young man and his family all the best in their recovery. We are here if you need us."

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