Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear costumes — a Mrs. Claus costume, specifically.
Such was the case Tuesday night, when Fredericksburg Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant T. Merrell spotted a potential suicide attempt during her commute at the Falmouth Bridge.
Merrell, who had just left a Public Safety Santa Run and was still in full Mrs. Claus regalia, drove by the woman on the bridge, who was leaning over the railing, before turning back around to check on her, Richmond’s ABC 8 News reported.
When the Christmas-clad officer arrived, the woman was dangling one leg over the edge, the report said, prompting Merrell to radio for assistance. She then walked toward the woman to deescalate the situation.
With the help of Fredericksburg Police Patrol Sergeant A. Lynch, who arrived shortly after leaving the Santa Run as well, the officers pulled the women to safety. She was later transported to a local hospital, where she is being provided mental health care, the report said.
“The most amazing part of this story is that Lieutenant Merrell and Sergeant Lynch typically take a different route home,” Fredericksburg Police Chief Brian Layton told ABC 8. “Call it divine intervention or fate, I truly believe these officers were meant to take the route they did and help save this woman’s life. I applaud them both for flawlessly utilizing their crisis intervention skills.”
“This was remarkable teamwork between the Fredericksburg Sheriff’s Office and Police Department,” Fredericksburg Sheriff Scott Foster told the station, adding that the event was “a true Christmas miracle.”
Anyone struggling with mental health or suicidal ideations is encouraged to call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.
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