A sheriff’s lieutenant, dressed as Mrs. Claus, was in the right place at the right time, to save a woman’s life.
Lt. Tabatha Merrell was wearing a Mrs. Claus costume with a dress, glasses, white wig and boots when she noticed a woman hanging over the railing of a bridge in Fredericksburg, Virginia, WRC reported.
Merrell had been on her way home from the Public Safety Santa Run Tuesday night, crossing the Falmouth Bridge.
“I saw that she had one leg over, and she had her whole upper body over,” Merrell told WRC. “So I activated my emergency equipment, I got on the radio and I notified dispatch that I was still in costume and I needed some uniformed officers out there to assist.”
She did two U-turns and got to the woman in time with some help from Sgt. Aimee Lynch from the Fredericksburg Police Department, who was also on the way home from the run but without the festive costume, WUSA reported.
The thing is, both Merrell and Lynch typically take a different way home, Fredericksburg Police Chief Brian Layton said in a news release, according to WUSA. “Call it divine intervention or fate, I truly believe these officers were meant to take the route they did and help save this woman’s life. I applaud them both for flawlessly utilizing their crisis intervention skills.”
The entire rescue was captured on a police body camera.
The 25-year-old woman who was in crisis was taken to a hospital where she’s getting mental health assistance, WUSA reported.
Note: If you or someone you know is thinking of harming themselves, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free support via the Lifeline by dialing 988. For more about risk factors and warning signs, visit the organization’s official website.