Our network

Suicide negotiator uses Facebook to help a man in crisis | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Suicide negotiator uses Facebook to help a man in crisis

Odessa, Florida - When it comes to suicide negotiators, a YouTube video featuring the Las Vegas Police Department shows what we expect: Officers shouting to or using a phone to contact someone in crisis. "You've got a lot to offer everyone man," says one negotiator in the video.

But Wednesday, when David Lehrke barricaded himself inside a shed behind his Odessa home and talked about "suicide by cop", veteran Pasco County Sheriff's negotiator Cpl. Arthur Morrison let his fingers do the talking.

Morrison is a school resource officer and sitting in a squad car not far from the scene, he used his new school Facebook page to contact Lehrke and hold a chat. Morrison's first message-simply, "hey are you ok?"

"He did not want to talk on the phone. He didn't want to talk any other way and this was our lifeline to him," says Morrison of Facebook. "This was our only way of communicating."

The negotiator also used information gleaned from Lehrke's Facebook page (like Lehrke's obvious love of fishing) to help him establish a rapport. "Bringing him around to things he cares about and thinks about, reminds him about why he's alive; reminds him about what he has to live for," says Morrison, who has been on some 150 crisis calls.

After about a half hour, Lehrke stopped responding to Morrison, but about ten minutes later he walked out of the shed and was placed under medical supervision.

Relatives of Lehrke at the family's Odessa home did not want to comment on camera, but his daughter told 10 News that they are grateful that the negotiator using Facebook was able to get him out alive and they hope their loved one can now receive the medical attention he needs.

Lehrke's Facebook page also refers to his love of water sports. It reads, "water is what keep us a live and I'm going to live!"

And at the end of the day, that's all this crisis negotiator can ask for.

You may also like:

Tampa Bay's Hottest 100: October 2011 pictures

Mom pleads Guilty: Sent naked pics to son's teen friend

DMV Horror: Lesbian newlyweds "humiliated" by DMV experience

Bikinis, mud, trucks: The Redneck Yacht Club

Pot Bracelets: Schools warn of bracelets used to smoke pot

Road Rage: Half-naked woman leads police on chase

Breathalyzer cover-up? DUI machines may be faulty

Roundup: 60 hookers, pimps and johns busted in prostitution sting

Outrageous mug shot galleries...

Strange: Most notorious or unusual mug shots we've seen

Teachers: Teacher arrest mugshots

Jaw droppers: Open mouth mug shots

Smilers: Happy mug shots

Laughers: What's so funny mug shots

Prostitutes: Prostitute mug shots

Athletes: Professional athlete mug shots 

Porn arrests: Child porn arrest mug shots 

Local Mugs: Sarasota County Mug shots

More unusual mug shots and galleries: 10 News slideshows and galleries


Pasco County Deals

Pasco County Businesses