PULLMAN – Washington State Cougars defensive back Grant Porter and Allison Schomburg were given Lifesaving Awards by the Pullman City Council on Tuesday in honor of their actions last week when they intervened as a 24-year-old man attempted suicide.
The pair received awards during a Pullman City Council meeting, presided over by Mayor Glenn Johnson, who moonlights as the PA announcer at WSU football games. The award comes in the form of a medal, the same one frequently given to police officers when they save lives.
Porter plans to take his award back home to his family, which he will visit next week during an infrequent opportunity for WSU’s student-athletes to spend some time back home. There will also be a celebration, though Porter and Schomburg marked their honors with a Tuesday night trip to Buffalo Wild Wings.
“My dad said when I come back we’ll have a family celebration with my grandparents and everybody else,” Porter said. “Some of my coaches told me what I did was a good job. They hit me up and called me and said what I did was right.”
The two were able to save the man’s life thanks to some quick thinking and a delicate touch, but most important, rather than ignoring a developing situation or hoping it would resolve itself, they sprung into action.
Porter and Schomburg were returning home from Moscow shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning. They pulled into the parking lot outside Porter’s apartment complex and noticed a man standing on a chair near a basketball hoop.
Unsure what was happening at first, the pair pulled a quick U-turn and parked. Porter hustled out of the car and approached the man, noticing that his hands were bound with a lanyard and a rope was connected to the basketball hoop and tied around his neck.
The pair talked the man down from the chair and untied him. Porter kept an eye on the man and engaged him in conversation while Schomburg called the police. The man claimed he had been kidnapped and that a kidnapper was lurking nearby. Porter became suspicious because upon being freed the man took the chair and rope back to his own car, where he waited for the police to arrive.
Porter and Schomburg stayed in the area until the police showed up. When the police arrived they confirmed that the man, who told them he was depressed, was in need of a mental health evaluation and subsequently transported him to the hospital.
Accorrding to Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins, “The immediate actions of Grant Porter and Allison Schomburg, and their willingness to get involved, very likely saved a life.”
Schomburg is a student at the University of Idaho. Porter, a freshman from Rancho Cucamonga, California, redshirted this past season. He arrived at WSU as a wide receiver, but transitioned to defensive back during WSU’s recent spring practices and found success early on at his new position.
Defensive coaches have said they were encouraged by how quickly Porter took to the safety position, and that they anticipate needing him to play in the fall as a redshirt freshman.
But whether Porter turns into an impact player for the Cougars, he is already a star in Pullman. He has an award to prove it.