Officer helps woman in need, carries her to work in Mesa

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Sprouts Mesa Phoenix Marathon is one of the biggest events in the Valley, and lots of fun for runners.

But with a mass of marathoners in the streets Feb. 24, it wasn't so fun for Tavia Warner. She has MS and had no way to get into the parking lot at her office because of all the road closures.

“I parked further than I knew I should have,” she remembers, “And I started walking; I had my ASU chukkas on and my ASU cane so I thought I would be just fine.”

But it turns out she was about a mile from fine.

“With MS my legs just give out at some points,” she says, then pointing to the man next to her she adds, ”And he saved me.”

He is Detective Brandon Lavin with Mesa Police Department, who was working the race, and picks up the story.

“I had a citizen who was watching the race, let me know there was a woman who was struggling to walk with a cane. I saw her fall into the street and saw her drop some of her stuff, so I went over to render aid. I got her up, we tried to get her walking, but I think she was so exhausted, I asked her if I could throw her over my shoulder and carry her to work.”

Warner says, “And he put me over his shoulder like I was an empty backpack. And walked me all the way to my office.”

Because there were so many runners in the street, Lavin says there was no way to get Warner through in a car or for that matter even a golf cart, “So I just thought that was the quickest most efficient way to get her to work so I could get back to my job.”

And on Tuesday, their paths crossed again. Even though Warner had thanked Lavin at the time, and called his boss to say what a great job he had done, this afternoon she added a very public thanks to the man she now calls Detective Atlas.

“You know what, a pure thank you for doing what you never needed to do. He could have just helped me up and I would have kept walking, but he didn’t.” 

Lavin says, “She is my responsibility. The name of the game is public safety.”

A reminder that even in the middle of a race, there is time for kindness. “He went above and beyond period,” Warner says.

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