Valor Medal, Bravery During Suicide Attempt - NBC4 Washington

Valor Medal, Bravery During Suicide Attempt

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    Valor Award Given for Suicide Rescue

    It was a cold, icy morning on Feb. 28, 2014 when there was a call for a suicidal woman threatening to jump off the Beltway in a section with a 75 foot drop down to Cameron Run. (Published Thursday, April 30, 2015)

    It's a rescue that sounds like something straight out of a movie, and it meant a Valor Award for an Alexandria police officer.

    It was a cold, icy morning on Feb. 28, 2014 when there was a call for a suicidal woman threatening to jump off the Beltway in a section with a 75 foot drop down to Cameron Run.

    Mamie Doyle, who was driving along I-495, spotted the woman first and pulled over, calling 911. Officer Michael Nugent was first on scene.

    As he climbed out of his cruiser he began shouting at the woman to stop & talk to him, but she leaned forward and fell. Doyle was able to grab her arm and instead of tumbling to the ground, the distraught woman landed on an icy ledge, just a few feet wide.

    Nugent followed, jumping over the jersey wall and grabbing hold of the woman's other arm. A father of 3 young children, Nugent says initially he didn't think about the danger.

    "I wasn't too scared at that point but when I got on the ledge and realized it was covered in ice and we had very little control then I started to panic," said Nugent.

    The woman kept struggling and Nugent told Doyle he was about to lose his grip. The woman was also dragging him toward the edge.

    Doyle then defied the officer's orders and jumped over the jersey wall herself. She simply sat on top of the woman, pinning her to the ledge.

    "I told her, 'I'm 260 pounds and you're not going anywhere,'" said Doyle.

    When the fire department and other first responders arrived, they brought all three to the safe side of the jersey wall. Only then did Doyle realize the danger she'd face with Nugent.

    "I didn't want to tell him I was scared at the time, but after I came back over the ledge, I was in tears," said Doyle.

    Both were honored for their heroic actions. Nugent received the Gold Medal of Valor from the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and Doyle was recognized for her bravery.