2 Moorhead officers win praises for saving life of suicidal man
MOORHEAD - Two police officers here were recognized Wednesday for rescuing a man who attempted suicide by jumping into the Red River this summer. Lt.
MOORHEAD - Two police officers here were recognized Wednesday for rescuing a man who attempted suicide by jumping into the Red River this summer.
Lt. Chris Carey recalled wading into the river to grab the man, then feeling the strong current begin dragging him perilously farther into the river.
Carey then suddenly "felt this strong pull backwards" - it was Officer Aaron Sprout, who arrived just in time to get hold of Carey and pull him to the riverbank.
Sprout and Carey were then able to save the man who jumped in the river, who later told them of the personal troubles that drove him to attempt suicide.
Chief David Ebinger praised the pair at a ceremony at police headquarters, but Carey and Sprout spoke modestly about their achievements.
Carey said in the 27 years he has worked for the department, he has seen plenty of officers do great things, and they deserved an award just as much as he.
Sprout said simply that his colleague "looked like he could use a hand" and he was glad to help.
The incident happened on July 7, when Carey was called to a report of a man who planned to jump off the Veterans Memorial Bridge between Moorhead and Fargo. He saw the man struggling in the river and took a "calculated risk" to enter the water to pull him out.
Carey, 48, soon felt himself "being overpowered in the water," Ebinger said. Then Sprout, a 30-year-old who joined the department six years ago, "risked his own life to go out there" and grab Carey, the chief said before giving a Life Saving Award to Sprout and a Medal of Valor Award to Carey.
Also on Wednesday, Ebinger welcomed to the force new officer John Laddie Bata, who goes by "Laddie." A native of Adams, N.D., Bata earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of North Dakota and a master's degree in public administration from Minnesota State University-Mankato. He is a major in the Minnesota National Guard.
The chief also promoted Ryan Nelson to sergeant from detective. Nelson, a 1995 graduate of Moorhead High School, worked for the Dilworth Police Department before joining Moorhead police in 2001.