Three members of a California family are alive today after a San Diego police K9 officer used his dog leash and Marine training to help save a father and his two daughters.
The man was tracked to an area by the ocean known as Sunset Cliffs, where a police lieutenant saw the truck drive off the cliff.
Enter K9 officer Jonathan Wiese, who would use a 100-foot leash he carries with him to rappel down the cliff to the truck.
Wiese said a fluke of luck had kept everyone alive. The truck landed upside down on a rock, which would have killed the girls had they been sitting in the backseat instead of in their father’s lap.
Suicidal parents who endanger their own children are among the worst and most haunting of scenarios. Thank goodness this San Diego police officer, Jonathan Weise, showed quick thinking and courage upon spotting the truck upside down in the water. pic.twitter.com/LMbyJjGppl
— Äµßrêê Jêñkïñ§ (@aubree_jenkins) June 15, 2020
“I could see him and he had one of the girls in his arms, and I have a 2-year-old daughter at home so I imagined, what if that was my wife and kid down there? You’re not going to stand there on the cliff and watch it happen,” Wiese said.
He looped the leash around him “and by then four or five other cops had shown up so I pretty much threw the end of the leash to them and then I said hang on and I just jumped off.”
After arriving at the rocks, he swam, fully clothed, to rescue the man and the girls.
His Marine Corps training kicked in.
“They taught you how to do water safety rescues and I had a little flashback of ‘OK grab him under the armpit and push him’ so I swam and held them above water,” he said.
One girl was alert; one was not. Wiese performed what he termed “rescue breathing” until officers lowered a backpack with supplies to him via dog leash.
The same tools were used to haul up the girls.
While they were waiting for a helicopter to lift the man to safety, the man told Wiese that “he was going to die and the girls were coming with him.”
The man was later held on a charge of attempted murder, according to KGTV-TV.
San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said Wiese saved the girls’ lives.
“That’s probably the most heroic thing I’ve seen in my 32 years,” he said.
“I didn’t do the job to be liked every day, I didn’t do it to become rich, I did it because I want to be out there making a difference and helping people, as cliche as that might sound, but I was just glad I could be there,” Wiese said.
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