Sunday, July 21, 2013
Stuntmen in town for San Diego's Comic-Con sprang into action to rescue a woman they saw dangling from the balcony of her 14th floor high-rise apartment and bring her to safety.
Amos Carver, a stuntman and rigger from Tuscon, Ariz., told ABCNews.com that he was setting up for a live stunt event for a private party at the convention with other stuntmen when they heard screams from across the road where they were working Thursday afternoon.
"The [stunt] coordinator and I were up on a scissor lift, we were a good 30 to 40 feet in the area already working when we turned around and looked," he said. "There was just a lot of commotion, people were screaming and pointing."
Carver said he saw a woman hanging off the balcony railing of the 14th floor of an apartment building. He immediately brought the lift down to the ground so he and two other stuntmen, Gregg Sergeant and Scot Schecter, could grab additional gear, and race across three lanes of traffic to get to the apartment building to attempt to bring her to safety.
The three men had to scale a fence before running through the building's lobby to rescue the woman, he said. With clearance from the apartment building's manager, the stuntmen raced up to the woman's apartment, where they found the door unlocked.
"We went through the apartment trying to be as quiet as possible," he said. "We didn't want to alert her that we were there."
Carver said when they found the woman outside, "she was hanging on [the balcony] with one hand, and had one foot off the ledge."
Without thinking, Sergeant lunged and grabbed the woman from behind in a bear hug while he and Schecter rushed in.
Carver, who already had more than 20 pounds of gear on him, said he threw a harness around her and tied her back, so that "even if she did slip, she couldn't go anywhere without us."
The three men then successfully brought the woman down from the ledge and brought her back inside her apartment. Police arrived shortly after the rescue, he said.
"She just kept saying, 'I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry,' over and over again," he said. "She was very distraught."
Carver said the woman was "very intoxicated."
Police told ABC San Diego affiliate KGTV the woman, whose identity has yet to be released, had been drinking and was upset over a breakup.
While their rescue was heroic, the three stuntmen are no strangers to life-saving techniques.
"We're trained to deal with these situations should they arise," he said. "But usually if we do, it's not an innocent civilian.
"If we're saving somebody, it's a situation we constructed in such a way that they're out on the edge of life or death intentionally to get a certain shot [in a film], and we swoop in," Carver said. "But those are people that are expecting this."
Sergeant told KGTV that the three stuntmen got there just in time.
"I was just so thankful we got there when we got there. I think if we'd been there two seconds later, she would've been gone," Sergeant said.