The violence in Charlottesville, Va., last week showed how some events bring out the worst. But two emergencies in the Tampa Bay area this month showed that some crises bring out the best.
Rosanna Lynd was on a Publix run in Seminole on Aug. 6 when a career criminal reached for her purse in the parking lot. As she fought back, the robber pulled a knife, injuring her and two of three passers-by who saw the commotion and intervened. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said it typically urges citizens to be witnesses — not to wade into the action. In this case, it credited Christopher McMann, Donald Rush and Travis Jones for helping to stop the attack and apprehend the suspect.
Four days later in South Tampa, Don Rogers was heading home when he saw an inferno of a wreck on the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway. Rogers pulled his truck to the side, ran toward a car in flames and cut the seat belt from the injured driver, carrying him to a median where others tried to revive him with CPR. That man, his wife and child were killed in the crash, which Tampa police blamed on a passing motorist. Rogers' keys had fallen from his pocket and melted in the heat of the blaze, forcing him to hitch a ride home with Tampa police. It gave him a chance to talk and collect himself. "Thoughts just kept running through my head," he said later, "wishing I could have done more."
These are just some of the people who live in our community and selflessly rush to help their neighbors in crisis.