PITTSBURGH – A Louisiana school cafeteria worker who saw a police officer struggling with a suspect and helped the officer subdue him is one of 18 people being honored with Carnegie Medals for heroism. The Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced the award winners Monday.
Vickie Tillman stopped her car last year when she saw the officer struggling. The 5-foot-2-inch woman rushed to the men, removed the suspect's hand from the officer's holstered gun and held his arm behind his back. As the man continued to punch the officer, 56-year-old Tillman, of Baton Rouge, impeded his attack until other police officers arrived. It took two other police officers to subdue the assailant and take him into custody.
The Hero Fund Commission was founded and endowed by steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It has awarded nearly $40 million to 10,000 heroes or their families since 1904.
Tillman has been named the commission's 10,000th Carnegie Hero. She joins the most recent class that includes Jimmy Rhodes, a 38-year-old radiographic technologist from Lumberton, North Carolina, who suffered burns while attempting to save the pilot of a fiery helicopter crash.
The winners will be presented the Carnegie Medal at a gala in June in Pittsburgh.
Other winners announced Monday include:
—Austin Raishbrook , of Blue Jay, California, saved a man from a burning SUV in January 2017.
—John Gerard O'Rourke , of Milford, Connecticut, saved a 10-year-old boy from drowning after the child fell through the ice while playing on a frozen pond in February 2017.
—Louis Marano and Thomas W. Brown , both of Philadelphia, helped save two men from drowning in New Jersey in August 2016.
—Zachary J. Corey and Karen Marie Mallon , both of Beulah, Michigan, saved two unconscious children trapped in a burning vehicle in November 2016.
—Andrew L. Melhado of Milton , Massachusetts, rescued a 17-year-old who was trapped in a burning car in December 2016.
—Michael Albert Rodriguez , of Howell, Michigan, helped save a 45-year-old man who had crashed his car into a pond after a medical emergency in July 2017.
—Joshua K. Watt , of Bowling Green, Kentucky, rescued two people from an overturned and burning pickup truck in June 2017.
—Jason Alan Doig , of Sequim, Washington, helped save a woman who was trying to jump off a bridge in a suicide attempt in March 2017.
—William M. Mack III , of Aston, Pennsylvania, rescued a woman from a house fire in March 2017.
—Thomas Julius Sais Jr. , of Palm Bay, Florida, pulled a man from a burning SUV in October 2016.
—Matthew John Kalafat , of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, saved a woman from drowning after she was hit by a wave and carried away from shore in New Jersey in September 2016.
—Ross A. Johnson , of Colorado Springs, Colorado, rescued a woman who was being stabbed by her estranged husband at a self-service car wash in March 2016.
—Robert Lee Thornton Jr. , of Warren, Michigan, saved a woman from a pickup truck that rolled and caught ablaze after a crash in November 2016.
—John Andrew Ussery , of Sanford, Florida, died after he tried to save his co-worker from drowning in Palm Beach in May 2017.