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Ohio officer who saved teen from jumping off bridge flies with Thunderbirds in airshow

In 2018, Columbus Officer Anthony Sebastiano sprinted toward a suicidal juvenile to stop her from jumping off a bridge, saving her life

By Sarah Roebuck

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An officer with 16 years of service with the Columbus Police Department was honored for his exemplary actions by receiving the opportunity to fly with the Air Force Thunderbirds during an airshow.

Officer Anthony Sebastiano was named Ohio’s newest Hometown Hero by the Thunderbirds. The longstanding tradition of naming a hometown hero honors a local person at each air site by offering them the chance to fly in one of the Thunderbirds’ iconic F-16 Fighting Falcons, Spectrum Ohio reports.

Sebastiano received the honor for his quick thinking and courageous act in 2018 when he and his trainee responded to a distressing scene on a bridge overpass. According to the Thunderbirds, a suicidal juvenile was about to jump when Sebastiano acted quickly, sprinting to her aid and pulling her back to safety.

“These uncommon acts of bravery are common occurrences for Anthony. In addition to his duties as an officer, he has dedicated himself to serving his community in various capacities. For six years, he volunteered at Groveport Middle School, where he guided students through art projects focusing on motor skills development,” the Thunderbirds said.

Sebastiano also coaches the local baseball team, making sure he stays behind after practice to connect with the kids, offering mentorship and a listening ear.

Sebastiano’s heroism has not gone unnoticed by his community. He has received numerous lifesaving awards and commendations, including the Chief’s Commendation, a Purple Heart, a Medal of Merit and the Medal of Valor.

“Anthony’s actions consistently reflect the Air Force’s core value of ‘service before self,’ embodying a commitment to community that transcends his professional duties,” the Thunderbirds said.