A self-proclaimed child molester is alive and in jail because of one telephone call.
What started as a 911 call to confess ended with an Indian River County dispatcher saving his life.
"He had admitted that he had sexually molested his 14-year-old stepdaughter," 911 dispatcher Pam Metzdorf said.
Metzdorf, who has been a dispatcher for 20-plus years, said a man called 911 Monday saying he had molested his stepdaughter and that he wanted to kill himself.
"I do want to hurt myself," the man told Metzdorf in the 911 call released Tuesday.
"Because you are feeling really bad right now?" Metzdorf asked.
"I'm so scared," the man said.
"Listen to me. I want you to put that loaded gun down," she responded.
Metzdorf said she was able to talk the man out of it after about 15 minutes on the phone.
"You made a mistake, OK? We all do," she told him. "But don't make it worse by pulling that trigger. That's not going to solve anything."
"When the gentleman started to break down and cry, I felt at that point I could have lost him in a minute," she told WPBF 25 News. "I felt desperate at that point and felt like he had nothing to lose."
During the phone call, Metzdorf sent deputies to his home.
"I'll put it down once I know that there is a deputy outside," the man said. "I promise I'll put my gun down."
The man was arrested without incident and taken to jail.
It was only afterwards that Metzdorf wondered if she had done the right thing.
"After the call was over with, that's the time where I didn't have such a good, easy feeling in my stomach, but I was assured by everyone around me that that was the right thing to do," she said.