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A Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputy was called to a residence in Whitethorn Saturday morning after a man reported a woman there had a butcher’s knife and had barricaded herself in her room. Deputy Robert Hamilton responded to the call and arrived at the house on the 1200 block of A Road at about 9:30 a.m. When he entered the house he encountered an intoxicated man seated in a chair. The man told Deputy Hamilton the woman was “back there,” and gestured toward the back of the house. As Deputy Hamilton walked down the hall toward the bedrooms, a woman holding a knife emerged from a room and took several steps toward the deputy. Deputy Hamilton ordered her to drop the knife. The woman retreated back into a bedroom, still holding the knife, and locked the bedroom door. Deputy Hamilton ran to the door and heard gurgling noises coming from the bedroom. Believing that the woman had injured herself, Deputy Hamilton kicked the locked door open and entered the bedroom. When he entered the room he saw the woman actively cutting her throat, causing deep cuts. Deputy Hamilton attempted to wrestle the knife from the woman but she continued to fight with him while continuing to cut her throat. The cuts were deep enough that they caused blood to spray as the woman coughed and breathed. Although covered in her blood, Deputy Hamilton got the knife from her and attempted to stop the bleeding while waiting for medical personnel to arrive. Deputy Hamilton applied direct pressure to the woman’s injuries, at first with his hands and then using nearby towels. The woman continued to fight with Deputy Hamilton until a second deputy arrived to assist him. Members of the Whitethorn Volunteer Fire Department arrived and continued first aid efforts until the woman was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. The woman was eventually flown out of the area for surgery and further treatment. Although exposed to blood, Deputy Hamilton was uninjured.
“Deputy Hamilton’s actions are to be commended. When he was faced with imminent danger, he demonstrated a willingness to save another, even while putting himself at risk,” said Sheriff Gary Philp. “Throughout this call for service, Deputy Hamilton distinguished himself through his quick assessment of the situation and his life-saving performance.”