Ashland man awarded for saving teenager from jumping off bridge

MEDFORD, Ore. – An Ashland man is being honored after saving a teenager from trying to take his own life last month.

On October 16th, Xander Chappell was on a walk, which little did he know would soon turn into the scene of Ashland first responders attempting to talk a teenage boy off a ledge.

Chappell was heading back from a day at work, walking along the Ashland Street overpass next to Clay Street.

And that’s when he saw the teenage boy standing on the other side of the railing.

Ashland police tell us Chappell started talking to the boy and was able to build a more effective rapport with him than the officers were.

Eventually after several minutes, Chappell was able to stop the teenager from jumping by pulling him to safety.

He says he just happened to be at the right place, right time.

Xander Chappell said,

“There was a need for intervention, and I was like ‘well, I’m the person who’s here, there’s no one else around me, so I’m that intervention. I was walking home, and I did a good deed, you know, I went home from that, and I didn’t even think of any of this. I didn’t think there was going to be any follow up. I didn’t think that I was going to get awarded by the city or anything like that.”

But awarded by the city he was.

He was given the Citizen Lifesaving award in recognition of his heroics.

We spoke to Ashland PD Chief, Tighe O’Meara, he says that Chappell’s actions were that of an upstanding individual, something that everyone should try to be.

Chief O’Meara said,

“All too often, people just want to walk by a situation and say, ‘that’s not my problem, it’s not my issue to deal with.’ And it’s actions like Mr. Chappell’s that remind us that it is everyone’s responsibility to show up and help community members in need.”

Chief O’Meara says public safety is not just the responsibility of law enforcement and first responders.

Rather, it’s everyone’s responsibility and that’s what strengthens the community.

APD tells me that afterwards, the boy was transported to Rogue Regional Medical Center and that professional help and resources are being made available to him.

Chappell says that everyone needs help sometimes.

And that the best way to help is to show compassion for strangers.

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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