Officers Recall Helping Injured Chicago Marathoner Cross Finish Line

CHICAGO (CBS) — Two Chicago Police officers went above and beyond by helping a Chicago Marathon runner cross the finish line.

“I’ll be forever grateful that they had heart that big,” Edward Hensley said of the cops.

The two with big hearts Hensley is referring to are Chicago Police officer Joseph Siska and probationary police officer Alfredo Martinez. The pair helped Hensley complete the last 2.6 miles of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday.

“I just told him, I said, ‘if you really want to do this, we can make it happen, you know. I’ll help you,'” Siska said.

Hensley, who has run 11 marathons, and nine Chicago Marathons in a row, said hearing that gave him hope, adding, “It made me want to get up and move forward.”

Hensley spoke to CBS 2 after undergoing hip surgery at Northwestern Memorial. The military intelligence specialist, who served in Desert Storm, said he felt earth-shattering pain at mile 24. As it turns out, his left hip was broken. Doctors were able to fix the fracture and say he most likely fractured the hip during training.

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“I asked him if he could rub my leg, and he said sure, and we laughed,” Hensley recalls. “And I said, ‘this isn’t what you thought you’d be doing,’ and he laughed. He said, ‘anything for you.’”

Siska said Hensley is the kind of person that “wanted to go all the way.”

“He had made a joke or something, saying I wish I had a cane,” Martinez said. “Grabbed a folding chair and he used it as a cane and off we went.”

Hensley told the two officers that they weren’t going to stop. “The end will be when we go cross that finish line.”

“I’m telling you with strong confidence, that any police officer that would have been at my post, at that same position, would have done the same thing,” Siska said.

Hensley says a reunion with the officers is planned once he is back on his feet. “What started off as one officer, and then two officers helping me, turned into two friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life.”

The marathoner said the three of them shared some great stories during their more than two trek. And, he says, if his injury means he’ll never run another marathon, he has comfort knowing he finished his last.

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