Deputy Stanislav Semenuk of the Placer County Sheriff’s Office had stopped his car along a road in Granite Bay upon seeing a teenager who was reported to be going through a mental health crisis. But seconds after getting out of the car and approaching the teenager, Semenuk saw something out of the corner of his eye.
“I just looked off to my right and saw a car coming over the hill, and they were going pretty fast,” Semenuk recalled.
It was at that moment Semenuk knew he had to act without hesitation.
“Instincts kicked in,” he said.
Video taken by a helicopter hovering above shows Semenuk grabbing the teenager by the shoulders and pulling them out of the street. The approaching vehicle then drives straight through the spot where they had been standing just moments earlier.
“Just grabbed the kid jumped out of the roadway, and that was that,” Semenuk said.
Semenuk said he hoped the heart-pulsing moment would help the teen open up.
“I just talked to the individual and said, ‘Hey, did you see what just happened? Like, we both almost just got killed.’”
But the teenager only showed “indifference” and said “I don’t care,” according to Semenuk.
Luckily, the deputy had back up: his K9 Ronin.
“[The teen was] able to look at Ronin, and we started talking … bonded over that, over the dog. ‘This is my little buddy. Imagine how horrible he would feel if I died, and imagine how horrible your parents would feel if you died. So, that’s what I’m here for, to prevent that from happening,’” Semenuk said.
Semenuk feels fortunate to be able to help, but he told Nexstar’s KTXL he was just doing his job.
“This incident just happened to have my pilots up above, and they were able to capture it, and the agency was able to give that to you guys, and you can bring that to the community,” he said. “But cops across the country do this on a nightly basis, and no one ever sees it.”
The driver involved was found and cited for driving on a suspended license.