Homeless Man Helps Rescue Woman from Minneapolis River

Homeless Man Helps Rescue Woman from Minneapolis River Photo: KSTP

July 31, 2018 10:23 PM

A woman was hanging onto the ivy under the Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis, mumming as if in pain and weak from exhaustion, according to a University of Minnesota Police Officer who worked with a homeless man to save a woman.

Officer Bryan Kotschevar arrived around 2:30 a.m. Saturday after a 911 caller reported hearing someone yelling that they needed help, only to find a man along the west bank of the river by the water with a flashlight.


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That voice yelling for help belonged to 50-year-old Shawn, a homeless Minneapolis man, who told the officer he tried to use a small rope to pull her out, then went into the water for 45-minutes trying to rescue her before climbing out of the water to go get help.

Shawn called 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Tuesday afternoon from a friend’s place. He lost his phone while trying to save the woman in the water, but said he did what he had to do at the moment.

On the phone, Shawn said he hopes the woman he helped save gets the help she needs.

Police feel the woman was trying to take her own life that night on the bridge.

Kotschevar wrote in his report that Shawn returned to the water and held onto the woman to keep her from going under the water or floating further downriver while he secured another rope on the railing to help in the rescue.

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At that time, Minneapolis Fire Department crews arrived to extend a ladder into the water to the woman in her mid-30s, and Shawn, who were both in the water.

A rescue boat was called in to help with the efforts.

Shawn told the officer that he camped under the bridge when he saw someone fall from the bridge and heard them hit the water and heard the woman yelling for help.


Eric Chaloux

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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