From day to day, police officers patrol neighborhoods, deliver warrants, respond to emergency calls, and arrest violators so as to maintain order and protect citizens and property. Once, while Gaston County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Brandon Putnam was on a routine task of delivering a subpoena, he stumbled upon a heart-stopping scene.
On Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, Putnam knocked a few times on the door of a home in Crawford Avenue, Gastonia, North Carolina, but there was no answer.
“Like any other day, go to the door, knock on the door,” Putnam told WBTV.
Gaston County Sheriff’s Corporal Putnam went to a home for a routine call yesterday. A woman slowly came to the door,…
Just as Putnam was about to walk back to his car, a woman opened the door and came out, WYFF reported. Putnam handed her the domestic violence paperwork, and what she did next came as a bolt from the blue: he had never encountered something like this throughout his nearly 20 years of service with law enforcement.
The woman, visibly shaken, whispered, “Help me.”
Scanning the woman’s face, Putnam noticed marks under her eyes and around her neck; these were signs of strangulation.
Suspecting Omar Jarrision Adams—the man who had a protective order against him, issued by the court to keep him away from the woman due to previous domestic violence—had come back, Putnam further asked, “Was this from Adams?”
When the woman nodded her head and signaled he was inside the house, Putnam sprang into action. He called in reinforcements, and Sgt. Mickey Sanford arrived to help. What Putnam and Sanford needed to do next was to get Adams out of the woman’s home.
“There were also three children inside at the time,” Sanford recalled.
Putnam said when he got to this woman’s home he knocked on the door but she didn’t answer at first. He was about to leave, when she came out and he handed her the paperwork.She whispered two words: “help me"
Working hand in hand, Putnam and Sanford searched the woman’s residence and found Adams hiding in a closet. The deputies then arrested Adams, who had a history of committing domestic violence against women since 2010, according to WBTV.
He had been charged for breaking into the woman’s home and forcibly raping her. Adams was also accused of strangulation, kidnapping, and possession of cocaine.
Gaston deputies pulled him out and have him in custody now. He is charged with forcible rape, strangulation, breaking and entering, kidnapping and possession of cocaine.
— Anne Marie Hagerty WBTV (@AnneMarieWBTV) January 20, 2019
“In my 19 years that’s never happened, when you are in a position where a victim needs help. And luckily she told me that she needed help because anything could have happened,” Putnam said.
“It’s a classic case of, we never know what we’re going to run into,” Sanford said. “We think it’s a simple case of handing someone a court date, making sure you’re there, type of deal, and then it turns into, like you said, a possibly lifesaving incident.”
According to experts, strangulation in domestic violence assaults is a huge risk factor for the homicide of women.
As per Emergency Medicine Journal, women who have been strangled by their partners are seven times more likely to be later killed by them. Also, as stated on DomesticShelters.org, a person can lose consciousness in less than 10 seconds and die within five minutes due to a strangulation assault.
October is domestic violence awareness month. Make your voices heard.
“As the professionals and the experts in this field have told us, these folks are potential killers,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Sgt. Craig Varnum told The Charlotte Observer. “So if … you know someone in a domestic violence situation and they make any allusion to having been strangled, that needs to be reported, they need resources.”
Fortunately, in this critical moment, the woman courageously spoke up and asked for help. The situation would likely have turned into a tragedy if she hadn’t otherwise.
“She was brave enough to at least whisper help. So it’s a good feeling to get him away from her. At least her and her children are safe,” Putnam said.Thank you, Cpl. Brandon Putnam, for protecting the woman and her children from danger!
Gaston County Assistant Chief Gary Williams mentioned that the officer was lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
He told WSOC, “When you feel like you can save one person, that makes the job worth while.”
“The deputy did a great job,” Sheriff Alan Cloninger told Gaston Gazette.