Two compassionate and quick-thinking people were honored as Good Samaritans after they prevented a tragedy and saved a life last week.
At first, 19-year-old Kashawn Caleb Beatty was reluctant to speak at a Friday press conference at the Stamford Government Center to honor him and Michele Kulis.
"Not really," he said when asked if he wanted to speak. But when Beatty went on to talk about saving a friend from possibly committing suicide, there wasn't a dry eye in the room.
"It's what anyone would have done," Beatty said of his decision to track down his friend, whom he found on a bridge over I-95. "He's a good friend. I love him to death and I would't want anything to happen to him. ...
"It was hard, but we did it," he said of saving his friend with the help of Kulis.
The frightening situation unfolded at about 2:30 p.m. Monday, July 24, when Stamford’s 911 Communication Center received a phone call from an individual who was concerned and believed that his friend might hurt himself.
The caller said that his friend had been posting numerous Facebook entries about suicide and depression.
Officers were sent the bridge that carries East Main Street over I-95 on the city's East Side, a site of many suicides, including two this year.
When officers arrived, they saw Beatty and Kulis, who were holding onto and talking to the young man, making sure that he was safe.
Beatty had track down his friend to the location because he was worried about him. And Kulis stopped to help when she saw the two young men on the bridge.
"Kashawn Caleb Beatty and Michele Kulis are good citizens who intervened where necessary to help prevent a tragedy," Stamford Mayor Dave Martin said. "They could have merely driven or walked by but instead they chose to intervene. And today we are recognizing them for their actions."
Martin presented Beatty and Kulis with citations that said:
“Be it hereby known to all that The City of Stamford hereby offers its grateful appreciation to Michele Kulis and Kashawn Caleb Beatty for assisting a resident in need during a life-threatening situation, and saving a life on July 24, 2017. We salute your bravery and service to others.”
Martin also announced that the state Department of Transportation is looking to add fencing to the East Main Street bridge for safety. It is the only bridge over I-95 between Greenwich and New Haven that does not have protective fencing, he said.
Martin was joined in honoring the two Good Samaritans by Director of Public Safety Ted Jankowski, Assistant Police Chiefs Jim Matheny and Tom Wuennemann, Police Capt. Sue Bretthauer, and other public safety officials.
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