41D Man of Valor
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Excerpt from 41 D Man of Valor :
It would be hours before Randy got home, and I couldn’t wait to tell him about my threatening experience while in the projects. But for now, Randy was at a call-up on the other side of town, in San Pedro, California, and had other matters that were far more important, so I had to wait. There in San Pedro, near the lighthouse, a lost soul had become frustrated with the issues of life and was attempting suicide. Clinging to a rock, the suspect’s situation was severe as he contemplated jumping into the ocean, with the waves approximately one hundred feet below, breaking against the jagged rocks of the mountain. Hanging from the cliff and threatening to leap to his death, he was sweating profusely and shaking with intense emotion. Randy, a negotiator for SWAT, leaned over the cliff above the young man and tried to talk with him via the help of a megaphone. Empathizing with this man’s heartache, Randy made every attempt to convince him to surrender and not to end his life, but Randy’s pleas were ignored. Not wishing to compete with the sounds of the waves, Randy asked his lieutenant if he could be lowered down in a harness.
It was an unheard of request, and Randy’s lieutenant thought he was crazy. It was way too risky, plus the mountain climbers were on their way to assist the SWAT team. But Randy pleaded with his lieutenant, and he reluctantly gave in to Randy’s request.
As he was lowered down in a harness, with his body slamming and knocking against the mountains by the swing of the rope and the wind, Randy showed no signs of fear, as he simply didn’t care about the danger when he was doing his job.
As he approached the man, Randy gave him one last attempt at voluntarily surrendering on his own, but he refused. Randy went into action. Nicknamed “The Claw” for his ability to use his strength for grabbing and immobilizing suspects and suicide victims, he reached out and latched on to the man, wrapping his legs around the man to secure him tightly. It was as if Randy were playing a stuntman in an action movie, except in this case, it was a real-life situation and Randy needed to save his life.
The team raised Randy and the man, applauding Randy for his brave efforts, while his good friend and partner looked on in amazement. James Hart couldn’t believe Randy’s heroic efforts and his willingness to put himself in such a life-threatening situation. While Randy was being treated by the paramedics for abrasions, James walked over to Randy and started clapping. “Another Simmons production,” he said, with admiration in his voice for his fellow friend and officer.
“Mission accomplished,” Randy responded.