Dramatic video shows a suburban police officer tackling a 17-year-old girl appearing to walk toward a moving train, moments after her family called 911 fearing the teen was planning to take her own life, authorities said Monday.
Waukegan police said they received a call around 1:40 a.m. that a 17-year-old girl was going to take her own life by standing in front of a passing train. That call came from the girl’s sister.
Dispatchers then “pinged” the cell phone of the 17-year-old and were able to find her location – a train crossing along South Avenue on Waukegan’s southeast side, police said.
Dispatchers notified Metra and the Waukegan Police Department, which responded to the scene just as a train traveling northbound on the tracks approached.
Body camera footage showed the officers arriving seconds before the crossing gates came down.
“Unfortunately the train’s right here,” Officer Christopher Harris is heard saying on the footage.
Moments later, a girl can be seen on the side of the tracks appearing to walk toward the train.
Harris shouts at the girl to “come here." When she doesnt, he chases after her, tackling her to the ground just steps from the tracks, footage shows. The teen was taken to an area hospital for a psychological evaluation, authorities said.
“I am extremely proud of these officers who, through their heroic actions, saved the life of a young woman,” Waukegan Police Chief Wayne Walles said in a statement. “I am just as proud of our dispatch professionals who utilized their resources to locate the area of where this young woman was, and directed the responding officers to find her.”
If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting 'Home' to 741741.