Group effort saves man at court

A group of security guards, law enforcement officials and a fireman apparently saved the life of a man who suffered cardiac arrest at the San Luis Obispo Superior Court earlier last week.

According to Anthony Tedesco, supervisor of the Guardsmark security team at the court, the victim was passing through the electronic security checkpoint when he collapsed about 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

“He got part of the way through after putting his stuff down and then he just fell backwards,” Tedesco said. “His face turned red and his lips were a bluish color.”

Tedesco said he rushed to grab the court’s defibrillator in another area of the court while sheriff’s Deputy Brian Love and an unknown fireman performed CPR.

Cindy Marie Absey, the county Victim and Witness Assistance Services coordinator, said she ran upstairs to the District Attorney’s Office to grab a defibrillator kept there as well.

The bystanders were able to use the defibrillator to send electric currents to restart the man’s heart.

Tedesco said the security team shut down the court entrance from the Palm Street side of the building as they dealt with the medical situation.

The victim was rushed by ambulance to French Hospital Medical Center’s intensive care unit, according to authorities.

The man had come to the court to serve on a jury. Atascadero Police Department Sgt. Joe Allen, who was there for the same trial, also helped resuscitate the man, according to observers at the courthouse.

Some at the court believed the man to be named Edward Wilson, age 59.

French Hospital staff, however, said a man by that name had transferred out of the hospital. His status is unknown but he apparently survived the incident.

Tedesco said he’s happy that plenty of qualified people were around to help.

“Everybody did a great job,” Tedesco said. “We’d never want to see anyone pass away, especially during the holidays, and we did our best to prevent that.”