PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — Police said a man who sawed his own arms to the bone at a West Covina Home Depot Wednesday wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for the heroics of an off-duty paramedic.
Capt. Art Hurtado, a 20-year veteran of the Pasadena Fire Department, was at the home improvement store with his wife when he stumbled upon the man on the ground in a pool of blood.
“There was pandemonium in the store,” said Hurtado. “There was blood in many aisles. As I walked in, he was face-down. I thought it was a crime scene with a fatality.”
Hurtado said he sprang into action and applied a tourniquet to the victim’s arms with rope from the store.
Hurtado’s wife said customers were stunned.
“They were terrified. There was a lot of blood. It was down several aisles. It was mayhem in there,” she said.
Police said the victim, identified only as a man in his 50s, was attempting suicide.
Cpl. Rudy Lopez of the West Covina Police Department said the saw the man used on his body is typically used to cut drywall.
“A rather thick, bladed, sharp-edged saw. He began to use that on both his upper and lower arms, both right and left side,” said Lopez.
The victim is at Queen of the Valley Hospital in critical condition.
Doctors were able to reattach both of his limbs.
Hurtado said he was meant to save the man’s life.
“I’m right in between two Home Depots. I could have chosen either one. But God chose yesterday for me to go to that one. I typically go to the other one,” he said.