PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A SEPTA Transit Police officer is being hailed a hero.
While on duty, he noticed a young woman who appeared to be in trouble and ended up saving her life.
It was just before 2:30 Friday afternoon and SEPTA Transit Officer Malik Williams was driving in East Germantown when he noticed a woman sitting on a ledge overlooking the train tracks at Washington Lane. He was on his way to another call, but something told him to stop.
“When I first made contact with her, I just knew it was something more than her just sitting there,” Officer Williams said.
And, the officer’s instincts were right on target.
“The first thing I asked her was ‘What’s going on? What’s wrong?’ At that time, she just burst into tears,” Officer Williams stated.
Williams is trained for situations like this. He knew he had to keep the young woman calm and try to put her mind at ease.
“She told me she didn’t have anyone to talk to. She was tired. Nobody would listen to her. I told her, ‘Well, I’m here and I want to listen and I want to help you,’” Williams explained.
And, that is exactly what Officer Williams did…listen. For some 30 minutes, he sat with the 20-year-old, showing her kindness and compassion.
“We developed a bond. We sat here and we talked,” Officer Williams said.
Williams said the trains were still traveling back and forth and he knew it would be a while before more help would be there.
“The only priority that was on my mind was to just keep her here. I didn’t want her to fall off the ledge or slip onto the train tracks,” Williams explained.
Williams’ supervisor and backup eventually arrived and the young woman safely came down from the ledge.
“The fact that he was paying attention and doing his job to the fullest. He made us all proud,” explained Sgt. Daniel Caban.
Officer Williams said he was just in the right place at the right time.
“Had I not been driving down here, who knows how things might have ended. But, it ended up on a good note, so I’m blessed and she’s blessed. It’s been a good day,” Officer Williams said.
Officer Williams personally transported the woman to Einstein Hospital’s Crisis Response Center.
He gave her his cell number and said he hopes to keep in touch and make sure the woman is moving forward.
If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text to 741-741.
CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.