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Kettering officer says ‘gut feeling’ led to helping man who fell

Published: Tuesday, March 01, 2016 @ 11:37 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 10, 2016 @ 6:53 AM
By: Lauren Stephenson - Staff Writer

The Kettering Police officer whose actions helped a man who fell spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday, saying he had a “gut feeling” something was wrong.

Officer Jonathon McCoy responded to an area around East Drive on Feb. 28 around 4:30 p.m. after someone found a dog.

McCoy looked at the dog’s tags and saw it was from a nearby address. No one answered the door to the home so McCoy began checking the doors and windows, according to a Facebook post from the Kettering Police Department.

“We were right in front of the owner’s house and took the dog in the backyard,” McCoy said. “There was some sort of gut feeling that I had. There were a couple of lights on inside the house and fresh food that wasn’t eaten completely.”

McCoy called for more officers and then began opening an exterior window to yell for someone in the home, according to the post.

At that point, the 60-year-old homeowner yelled that he had fallen, the post said. The homeowner gave McCoy the code to the garage door and McCoy made it inside, the department said.

The homeowner had fallen seven hours earlier and was unable to find his cell phone to call for help, the post said.

“The first thing he said to me was, ‘How did you know I was in here?’” McCoy said. “You never expect it but this job is full of surprises and that’s something you learn early on.”

The Facebook post has gone viral, having been viewed more than two million times.

“Off. McCoy chose to go above and beyond; he could have simply put the dog in the back yard and left. Instead, Off. McCoy chose to go the extra mile, which resulted in possibly saving this man’s life! Great job Off. McCoy,” the post said.

McCoy joined the Kettering Police Department in May 2015 and previously served on the Village of Cedarville and University of Dayton Departments, according to a release from the department when McCoy was hired.

“The public pays attention a lot to the negative things and rightly so,” Kettering Police Chief Chip Protsman said. “Officers make mistakes and we have to answer for that. But for the most part, officers do a good job and I think this is just a very good example of them doing that.”

Attempts to reach the man McCoy helped were unsuccessful, but the department said officers were able to help him back up and he refused medical treatment.