MPD officer investigating property-damage call saves a life

Medical emergency left resident without a pulse

What started as a mundane call to investigate property damage quickly turned into seconds in which a Madison police officer saved the life of a 28-year-old man.

Officer Angela Straka responded to a call reporting damage to three mailboxes on Dregers Way. One of the residents told Straka the mailboxes had been hit by a car driven by a neighbor.

“Officer Straka decided that, based on the investigation she would go have a conversation with the gentleman and make sure he was OK,” Sgt. Steph Drescher said.

When Straka knocked on the door of the home there was no response. She looked in a window near the door and saw the man lying on the floor.

“She did exactly what we’re trained to, 100-percent the right thing,” Drescher said. “She knew she had to get in. She needed to get in there to help save a life. She tried all of the doors, and they were all very secure. She had no recourse, she needed to get in, so she broke the window with her department baton.”

Once the window was broken, the officer was able to reach in and unlock the door. Inside she discovered the man had no pulse. Straka called for paramedics and began performing chest compressions. After a short time, she checked and discovered the man had a slight pulse.

When Madison Fire Department paramedics arrived, they transported the man to the hospital where he is now listed in stable condition.

“There is no doubt in my mind that he would not be alive if she wouldn’t have investigated a damaged mailbox. She saved his life,” Drescher said.

For saving the life of the resident, Straka is being nominated for a department award, police said.