Officer Chris Sayeski

Officer Chris Sayeski and the rest of his team responded to a stabbing on 8th and W. King Street in Banning on June 20.

When he arrived on the scene, he saw several subjects on the curb, but what caught Sayeski’s sharp eyes is a gentleman who was sitting on the curb holding his neck.

At first, Sayeski didn’t realize that the man was bleeding profusely, but when he did he made a snap decision.

“My initial thought and my only thought was to stop the bleeding,” Sayeski said.

He noticed there were two large holes in the man’s neck, so he did what most people are perhaps a little too uneasy to do — he plugged the wounds with his fingers without thought.

Focusing his attention on the victim without further checking the area, but himself in danger, “I put myself in danger because I knew if I didn’t stop the bleeding he [the victim] was probably going to die.”

A scenario he has unfortunately experienced before while in the Army, he said.

“I’ve had a few incidents when I was in Iraq during my combat time where I had to make fast decisions and perform,” he said. “It came in handy this time being in those types of scenarios before.”

With his fingers in the man’s neck, he asked him critical questions, while waiting for the paramedics to arrive on scene.

“He was able to provide me information while I stopped the bleeding,” Sayeski said.

With the information Sayeski was able to get while simultaneously stopping the bleeding, he and the rest of team were able to apprehend the assailant.

Sayeski credits the rest of his team for the arrest of the assailant.

“My team was very active that day in apprehending the suspect,” he said. “It was a victory for the whole department.”

The victim was transported to an area trauma center with life threatening stab wounds to the neck.

Banning Police Chief Matthew Hamner said, “Upon the officer’s arrival, he quickly assessed the victim’s condition and immediately began first aid measures to stop the bleeding and very likely saved the victim’s life while endangering his own. I commend our officers and their willingness to serve the citizens of Banning during such dangerous circumstances.”

Sayeski has been with the department for over three years and has been designated to help with the homeless population in Banning, but he helps out his team when there is an influx of calls.

Sayeski grew up in Whittier; and he decided to go in the Army so that he could help people.

Once he got out of the Army, Sayeski went in to the police force because he wanted to continue being of service — and to continue helping people.

He said he knew what to do with the stab victim based on his training and experience from the military and the police academy.

Sayeski received an award for his swift life-saving actions at Banning’s City Council meeting on July 14.


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