CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago police officer received a special award Wednesday for saving the life of a cyclist on Independence Day weekend in the Roscoe Village neighborhood.
Officer Sean Hayes was off-duty on July 3, when a man riding a bike on the 3500 block of North Damen Avenue was doored by a female motorist. Hayes was driving south on Damen with his 6-year-old son when he saw the man stumbling around after the accident. The cyclist had suffered a serious neck laceration, was bleeding profusely, and might have died if it were not for Hayes’ quick thinking.
Hayes, a firearms instructor at the police academy, said he retrieved a bag used in Law Enforcement Medical and Rescue Training classes, and applied a pressure bandage to the 21-year-old man’s wound. The officer said it appeared the edge of the door frame punctured the young man’s neck, causing profuse bleeding.
“Everyone was pretty hysterical. The victim was noticeably and obviously uncomfortable. I told him everything was going to be fine. I kept pressure against his wound and his neck, and just told him that he was okay, everything was fine,” he said at the time.
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation has named him Officer of the Month for September, and presented him with a gift certificate and plaque.
“It feels pretty good,” Hayes said.
A 16-year veteran of the force, Hayes was a personal chef before becoming a police officer at age 34. He said he’s thankful for the award, but “I’m not a hero.”
“We’re all heroes,” Hayes said.
Hayes said the cyclist is back at work, and doing well.