Warren Fire Chief, police save a life

Covered in gasoline and threatening to light himself afire, man talked back with kindness and compassion

By Ted Hayes
Posted 9/6/17

A man who poured gasoline on himself and threatened to light himself on fire was saved Sunday evening by police and Warren Fire Chief Al Galinelli, who used kindness and compassion to talk the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Warren Fire Chief, police save a life

Covered in gasoline and threatening to light himself afire, man talked back with kindness and compassion

Posted

A man who poured gasoline on himself and threatened to light himself on fire was saved Sunday evening by police and Warren Fire Chief Al Galinelli, who used kindness and compassion to talk the troubled man out of suicide.

Police got a call from off Main Street just after 5 p.m. from the man, who said he had just poured the gas on himself and was about to light it. After pinpointing his location through GPS data, police arrived and started talking to the man, who was in the backyard of a residence just off Main. They also called in Chief Galinelli and fire crews to be on standby. The man had asked for a police officer to speak to but since that officer was off, Chief Galinelli offered to talk to him soon after he arrived, as he knows him.

“He was covered” in gas, said the chief. “I had dealt with him before so I offered to help; I think I made him feel somewhat comfortable.”

Chief Galinelli sat down with the man, and they proceeded to have a conversation on life.

“We just talked,” he said. “We relayed back and forth how life can be sometimes. I told him a few stories about me and he told some stories.”

After about 15 minutes, the man started growing agitated and poured more gas on himself. Chief Galinelli knew he had to do something, so “I told him, ‘If you put it all down, I’ll give you a hug.’

After thinking about it, the man put the gas down and “I just gave him a hug,” the chief said. “Then we took him to the hospital.”

Chief Galinelli has talked to many troubled residents over the years. Some have ended well, some haven’t. He said he feels for the man, who was obviously hurting. But he said he was glad and very relieved to have been able to help and bring about a positive ending to what could have been a tragedy.

“I hope he gets the help he needs,” the chief said.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.