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A Border Patrol agent who is working without pay is being hailed a hero after saving a suicidal man who appeared to be preparing to jump from a Michigan bridge. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
A Border Patrol agent — who is working without pay during the partial government shutdown — and a Michigan sheriff’s deputy are being hailed as heroes after they pulled a suicidal man off a bridge, according to the Detroit News.
Border Patrol Agent Brian Maitland and Monroe County Deputy Brian Sroka saved the man’s life when they responded to a report of a man sitting on the CN Railroad Bridge in Newport earlier this month. The man, identified only as being 64 years old, had a half-empty bottle of bourbon next to him and tied one end of a rope around his neck and the other to a bridge beam. He appeared to be preparing to jump, the Detroit News reported.
Sroka was able to distract the man long enough for Maitland to move in behind him, grab him by the collar and drag him off the edge of the bridge.
The two men then removed the rope from the 64-year-old’s neck and found what appeared to be a suicide note in his back pocket, the newspaper reported.
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Maitland, who has been with the Border Patrol for a decade, said he was just doing his job to protect the community and that it’s “human nature to try and help someone in need.”
“Anybody in law enforcement or fire or EMS would have done the same thing,” the 46-year-old told the Detroit News. “A human life is a human life.”
Maitland’s colleague, Jason Anderson, told the newspaper his actions show the commitment government workers have even as they aren’t being paid.
“In these times, when we are not receiving a paycheck, we have (a) dedicated group of men and women performing their jobs and working for the American people,” Anderson said.
Maitland is among the 800,000 federal workers whose pay is being temporarily withheld during the stalemate over a new budget, in which President Trump has been rebuffed in his request for $5.7 million for a border wall.
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Maitland said his family is “doing OK” as he goes without pay and declined to comment further on the shutdown.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., called the two men heroes and urged the president to end the shutdown so “federal workers like Agent Maitland can get paid for the important work they are doing to protect and serve our communities.”
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