A selfless act of compassion

Published 10:01 pm Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A McDonald’s bagel sandwich may have made the difference between life and death for a suicidal man thinking about jumping from a highway overpass in North Suffolk recently.

But Quinton Franklin believes it was a “divine appointment” that put him in the right place at the right time to save the man when Franklin and his wife saw him perched on the edge of the overpass as they were headed from breakfast at McDonald’s to see the movie “War Room” at the Harbour View Grande cinema.

“God had it that we would travel that way that day,” Franklin told the Suffolk News-Herald’s Tracy Agnew last week.

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When Franklin and his wife passed the man on the way to the theater, Franklin knew immediately that something was wrong. As an officer at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail, Franklin has learned to be aware of things that seem out of the ordinary with people, and the situation he saw on the overpass quickly set off his personal alarms.

Turning his car around, Franklin honked his horn and called to the man. And when the man responded by moving closer to the edge, Franklin hurried over, grabbed him and began walking him off the bridge while talking to him, learning the 20-year-old’s name and hearing him say he “felt like the world was a terrible place.”

“I didn’t even think about it,” Franklin said of the fact he may have put himself in danger. “It was a knee-jerk reaction. I stopped because that’s somebody’s son, somebody’s brother. If it was my family, I would want somebody to stop to help.”

Franklin’s quick thinking and selflessness have earned him a nomination for a citizen’s award from the Suffolk Police Department, which had been called and soon responded to the scene to help the man. His actions further earn him our gratitude and respect.