In heartfelt video, Mich. police credit bystander who knew CPR for saving life of man pulled from water
“I would just like to say thank you to this young woman, of course, and all the officers involved. I’m really grateful to be alive,” the man said
By Sarah Roebuck
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Ann Arbor Police Department released a video highlighting the importance of CPR after bystanders saved the life of a young man.
On July 27, dispatchers received 911 calls about a man at a park who went underwater and never resurfaced.
Several strangers worked together to pull the man, identified as Jamaine Atkins II, out of the water and onto the dock, police said.
Margarita Howes, 22, told police she was spending a day by herself at the park when she noticed the commotion at the dock.
“I started clearing the docks for when he got to the dock, throwing bags and throwing towels, not really caring where they went, because we had to make room for him when he got there,” Howes told MLive.
Howes then began CPR until an officer arrived at the scene.
Body camera video from Ann Arbor Police shows Howes performing CPR as Officer Thomas Burnette arrives and takes over life-saving measures. Burnette credited the bystanders for saving the man.
“A lot of the time, with calls like this, you hope there’s some element that’s not true. Maybe by the time you get there, the person is up and walking around. That wasn’t the case,” Burnette said in a video released by the department. “The citizens did step up and got to work on him without thinking about their own safety on that dock. They pulled him out without thinking about it.”
After several weeks of treatment, Atkins made a full recovery, police said.
Five firefighters, three police officers and Howes received Life Saving Awards during a ceremony on Sept. 25. The ceremony was the first time Atkins reunited with some of the people who saved his life.
“I would just like to say thank you to this young woman, of course, and all the officers involved. I’m really grateful to be alive,” Atkins said.
In a touching video recounting the rescue, the Ann Arbor Police Department urged citizens to learn CPR and save a life.