ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Two men who jumped into action when they saw a woman who was about to jump off a bridge are being hailed as heroes Tuesday.
This afternoon, those men were given the Chief’s Award of Valor from St. Paul police.
It happened last August on the Dale Street Bridge.
A bystander’s cell phone video shows the frantic scene as bystanders and St Paul police pulling together lifted a woman dangling from a ledge over Interstate 94 to the safety of the overpass.
Kelando Roberts and William Boursaw were first on the scene and held the woman who was hanging by her fingertips until more help arrived. Last summer they described the rescue.
“I grabbed her T-shirt and held her,” Boursaw said.
“The other police officer came real quick and we had a grip on her,” Roberts said.
St Paul’s police chief noted their heroism was all the more striking because it took place on the same bridge where three weeks earlier protesters angered by the death of Philando Castile shut down the interstate and hurled rocks at police.
“This was on the heels of a very difficult time in the city of St. Paul where there was some division and some friction,” Chief Todd Axtell said.
But on that evening police and citizens pulling together saved a life and found common ground.
“We all came together, the community and the police department came together as one,” Boursaw said.
“That is what St. Paul is all about. When the chips are down, everybody rolls up their sleeves and gets their job done,” Chief Axtell said.
The woman who was saved from jumping was taken to a local hospital and Chief Axtell said she was able to receive the treatment she needed.