Police officers make the oath to “protect and serve” their community — and one New York cop fulfilled that creed while hiking a mountain nearly 3,000 miles from home.
Traversing the breathtaking north Cascade mountains in Washington state turned into a dangerous emergency for Dave Mahabir, a Clarkstown police officer who was on vacation with his girlfriend. They were at a 10,000-foot elevation when they spotted a couple in need.
“I knew my leg was broken instantly because I heard it. And it was loud,” said Cheyl Diekkman, who had hurt herself as she and her husband hiked the trail as well. The couple was being helped by two nurses who also happened to be hiking.
“It was pretty obviously broken. I see broken bones all the time so I know what they look like,” said nurse Evan Blomquist, who was assisting Diekkman.
The medical professionals had made a homemade splint, but still had a problem: how to get Diekkman down the mountain. That’s when Mahabir offered his help.
“I sit down and I’m like, ‘Just put her on my back.’ So she gets on my back,” said Mahabir.
“If we would have waited, it could have been up to five hours or six hours even. And by that time, it’s dark and you don’t know what happens when it’s dark on a mountain,” said Jensen Hamilton, the other nurse who helped. “So I think we were all just like, ‘Yup, we’re gonna do it. We’re gonna get her down.'”
So that’s what they did. Blomquist and officer Mahabir took turns carrying the 58-year-old Diekkman more than three miles down the mountain until they reached a rescue vehicle.
“My legs are buckling, they’re shaking, but like I said: We had to do what we had to do,” the police officer said.
The Diekkman’s were so grateful for their heroism, they sent hand-written thank you notes and a letter to the police chief in Clarkstown. Scott Diekkman said he told the police chief that “it was evidence that there’s still good in the world.”
“Words just couldn’t say how thankful I am for Evan and Dave. They were my angels,” said Cheryl Diekkman.
Mahbir said that in hindsight, he can’t believe he was able to make it down the mountain. But his adrenaline and his police training and his heart made it happen.
“It’s just people helping people. I think that for us, us police officers, helping just comes naturally. It feels natural,” he said.