2 Kent police officers foil apparent suicide try

By TERRY CORCORAN
THE JOURNAL NEWS
Original publication: April 17, 2001

Lake Carmel - Two Kent police officers prevented a local man's apparent suicide by yanking free a hose he had run from his idling car's exhaust into the car trunk, police said yesterday.

Officer Kevin Owens responded around 7:50 p.m. Sunday to a call of a man causing a traffic hazard by walking on Terry Hill Road near Route 311. Owens didn't find the man but did see an idling 1998 Ford parked in the lot of Lake Carmel Beach 5, adjacent to the Villa Carmel restaurant.

Owens approached the car and noticed a 40-year-old man seated behind the wheel.

He knocked on the window to get the man's attention, but was ignored. That's when the officer noticed the hose running from the exhaust pipe to the trunk and immediately tore it free. Officer James Oster arrived minutes later and the two tried to talk the man out of his car. The man ignored their pleas, even turning up the stereo volume.

The officers then parked their cruisers in front and in back of the Ford and broke the driver's side window. That's when the man put his car in gear. He rammed the cruiser in front and drove off.

Police stopped the car on Putnam Drive at North Terry Hill Road. The man then drove his Ford into a second cruiser, police said. Owens and Oster, who were able to get the man out of the car, were not hurt. The cruisers had minor damage, police said.

The Lake Carmel Fire Department ambulance took the man to Putnam Hospital Center for crisis intervention and for treatment of carbon-monoxide poisoning.

Police charged the man, Frederick Acker III of Lake Carmel, with second-degree reckless endangerment, driving while intoxicated and reckless driving, all misdemeanors, and several traffic infractions. He is scheduled to appear today in Town Court.

Police Lt. Alex DiVernieri praised Owens and Oster for showing judgment and restraint as the incident unfolded.

"The guys did a great job," he said. "They prevented this individual from hurting himself or anyone else."



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