Newly released body camera footage shows the dramatic moment two Montgomery County police officers saved the life of a man seriously wounded in a Silver Spring, Maryland, stabbing last month.
Officer Justin Lee, with the 3rd District Station, told WTOP he was just about to end his overnight shift early in the morning of June 28 and was driving back to the station when the call came in for a stabbing at a town house complex on Mozart Drive in Silver Spring.
The bodycam footage shows Lee and another officer arriving at the complex and approaching an unresponsive man lying in the parking lot, covered in blood, as two distraught women cry out for help.
“Training definitely takes over,” Lee said. His first thought was to secure the scene, to make sure he and the other officers had control of the situation. His second thought: “Oh, s***, that’s a lot of blood.”
Lee said he used that natural reaction to draw back on his training from the police academy. The sheer amount of blood meant that the type of wound was what he called an “arterial bleed.”
Warning: Some viewers may find the video disturbing.
“In the academy, they teach us the steps for how to deal with somebody who’s injured like that and the first thing you have to stop always is arterial bleeds because that’s going to kill a person the fastest,” Lee said.
The bodycam footage shows Lee calmly applying a tourniquet to the wounded man’s arm and then, with the help of fellow officer Addison White, applying what’s known as an “occlusive dressing,” or chest seal, to a stab wound in the man’s chest.
As the officers render aid, one of the women cries out, “Please make sure he’s breathing,” and “Please stay alive.”
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service arrived within minutes and the victim, whom police identified only as a 28-year-old man, was rushed to the hospital. He has since been released.
“I think if we would have got there 30 seconds later, that individual would have been in an lot of trouble,” Lee said. “It takes very little time to bleed out from an arterial bleed, and there was already a significant amount of blood on the ground when we got there. So, luckily, we got there when we did.”
In a statement, Capt. Darren Francke, commander of the 3rd Police District, said: “We are proud of these highly trained officers who, without regard for their own safety during this ongoing pandemic, provided immediate care that saved a life.”
Police said witnesses at the scene provided the name of the man suspected in the stabbing: Marvin Alston, 34, of D.C., had fled the area by the time Lee and the other officers arrived.
Later, an officer reached Alston on his cellphone and persuaded him to return to the town home complex and turn himself in.
Police said there was some kind of dispute before Alston stabbed the other man multiple times with a knife detectives found inside the town house.
Alston has been charged with first-degree assault.
WTOP’s Thomas Robertson contributed to this report.