top of page

Stephenville police officer honored after saving the life of suspect who tried to harm herself.

Stephenville Police Officer Paula Mays (center) received a Life Saving Award on Tuesday. She is pictured with her husband (far left), Mayor Doug Svien and Police Chief Dan Harris. Photo/SPD


Stephenville Police Chief Dan Harris is crediting the swift actions of Officer Paula Mays for saving the life of a suspect who began stabbing herself in the neck after she was caught stealing from Walmart.


The incident happened on the night of Jan. 20 when a woman was observed shoplifting and refused to stop when confronted by security.


Officer Mays arrived at the scene and advised the suspect to exit her vehicle, but she refused, then began violently stabbing herself in the neck with a knife.


“Officer Mays, immediately, without hesitation and at great risk of harm to herself, utilized her collapsible steel baton and shattered the driver’s side window,” and called for backup, Chief Harris told Beneath the Surface News.


Mays was able to remove the suspect from the vehicle and get her to drop the knife.


The suspect stabbed herself 16 times, but survived and is now recovering, Harris said.


At Tuesday’s Stephenville City Council meeting, Mays was presented with the department’s lifesaving medal.


“The heroic actions of Officer Mays are exemplary and an example of the top-notch professionalism of the men and women of the Stephenville Police Department,” Harris said.



bottom of page