Four Niles officers save life

Man injured after punching through glass in door

NILES — Police Chief Jay Holland credits his officers with probably saving the life of a man who was severely injured when he punched through a glass door Monday night at the Timber Creek Apartments.

When Officer Richard Bayless responded to a disturbance call at the apartments around 10:30 p.m., he found Davonte Smith, 20, 1223 North Road, punching the glass door entrance way, according to Holland.

“On the third punch, he succeeded in putting his arm through the plate glass window,” Holland said.

He said Smith was cut in two places on his arms and on his forehead.

Bayless had Smith apply pressure to his wounds with a pressure bandage.

Body camera video released by the police department on Facebook shows Smith sitting on the ground in a puddle of blood with his shirt wrapped around his arm. Officer Patrick Cox, a military veteran who was the second to arrive on the scene, used a tourniquet he keeps in his car to help slow the severe bleeding, Holland said.

He said officers suspected Smith had cut an artery.

Officer Ryan Ifft, who recently returned from a military tour in Kuwait, had a second tourniquet that was applied just above Smith’s wrist, according to a police report.

“No doubt their quick actions probably saved his life,” Holland said.

In the body camera video, Smith can be heard saying, “I promise you I’m not trying to kill myself. I love my life. I love my life.”

An officer tells Smith to raise his arm above his head and begins to apply the tourniquet above his shoulder as Smith shouts, “Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! I’m losing a lot of blood!” Three other officers then assist in securing a second tourniquet.

Holland said probationary Officer Andrew Hecker was the fourth officer on scene.

Smith was taken to Trumbull Regional Medical Center. Police plan to file a felony vandalism charge against him when he is released, Holland said.

Holland said he was proud of the officers’ quick thinking.

“These are the things that police officers do every day that aren’t always recognized,” he said.