‘Absolutely heroic’: Homeless man praised by VicPD for helping save officer’s life

'Absolutely heroic': Homeless man praised by VicPD for helping save officer's life

After years of living on the streets in Victoria, Sandy Fisher has a lot of friends but police officers aren’t typically counted among them.

“Oh, let’s just say I’ve been in handcuffs a few times over the last few years,” Fisher joked.

He says police officers along with bylaw have taken his tent and belongings on countless occasions, harassed him, bullied him, and arrested him for speaking his mind.

That’s why what took place Wednesday afternoon was so remarkable. Fisher was invited to Victoria Police headquarters to be honoured with a civic service award and personally thanked by Victoria’s top cop.

“Sandy amongst others came to the rescue of the officer who was pinned, this is absolutely heroic,” Chief Del Manak told the small crowd that had gathered in the detachment to see Fisher honoured.

On Sept. 27, 2021, a man in a stolen vehicle struck a VicPD officer who was in the 900-block of Pandora Avenue accompanying bylaw, leaving him pinned under the car.

Fisher heard the commotion, dropped his coffee and ran to help.

“I hear this crash boom bang and all this yelling and screaming so I drop my coffee and start two-stepping ‘er down there,” he said. “I went over and saw that his foot was pinned under the car so I just started trying to lift it off him.”

After calling on a few others to help the group managed to free the officer who was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Const. Todd Mason remains off-duty, recovering at home.

Despite his previous experiences with police, Fisher says he never thought twice about jumping in.

“No that was a human being in that situation and I’m bound by myself, whatever my moral codes I guess, to do whatever I could to help him,” he said.

And that’s no surprise to those who know him best.

“He’s always assisting other people that’s what I admire so much about him,” said Mick Rhodes, who’s known Fisher for 25 years.

Fisher and his friends hope Wednesday’s civic service award ceremony becomes more than just a handshake and photo op.

“It’s a bridge between the street community and the police it’s one of the steps that hadn’t been taken,” said Collin Spires, who also used to live on the streets.

The friends say there’s room for trust to build and the relationship to be mended and it starts with talking.

“They shouldn’t be here in uniforms intimidating and harassing people, which is really as much as anything what they’re doing,” Fisher said.

Instead, he says they should come and talk to people, one human being to another.

“We’re all so entrenched in making money that we have forgotten how to make friends and share the love,” he added.

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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