Two 14 Division Toronto Police officers risked their lives to save a woman in crisis who had jumped into Lake Ontario.
On November 4 at around 10 p.m., Constables Alexander Young and Adam Veleke were in their scout car near the Dufferin Gate Loop when the call came in that a woman in crisis was at Lake Ontario threatening suicide.
“We just had a basic location from a phone ping for this woman who said she was down by the water and wanted to drown herself,” recalled Young. “The ping was near the Martin Goodman Trail, so we drove along the shoreline with lights on trying to find out exactly where she was. We had information that she had a bike which we saw and then we located a female close by on the beach.”
When the officers got out of their car and tried to confirm her identity, she went into the water.
“She did that almost instantly,” said Veleke. “It was obvious she didn’t want to talk to us. As we tried to get closer to talk to her, she moved further out into the water.”
Though the Marine Unit was notified and were on their way, the officers knew they had to act swiftly as the woman’s head was going under water.
Both officers went into the water following behind the woman.
“It was very cold and we were out there for nearly 20 minutes trying to talk to her,” said Veleke. “Every once in a while, she kept popping up where we could see her.”
The Marine Unit came upon the three of them swimming and were able to throw flotation devices to the woman who eventually relented and agreed to take them and swim back to shore. Young and Veleke followed closely behind here all under the watchful eye of Marine officers.
The officers said the spot where the woman went into the water was in a secluded area on the beach.
“We were very fortunate to find her,” said Young. “It really helped that we learned she had a bike which we located. We are glad it ended well.”
The woman was transported to hospital for treatment.
The ‘A’ platoon officers have been on the job for less than two years.
Sergeant Azadeh Sadeghi praised their bravery.
“That night, the water temperature was about seven degrees,” she pointed out. “That is cold and for those officers to be out there for that length of time speaks to their courage. I could not be more proud of these very humble guys.”