VIRGINIA

Fredericksburg woman saves a life, becomes victim of theft

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Police are crediting a 22-year-old Fredericksburg woman with saving a man's life.

Jennifer Thomas. Photo: ABC7

But by the end of the day the hero had become the victim.

Earlier this month, Jennifer Thomas saw a man staggering down the sidewalk in downtown Fredericksburg. He was badly bleeding.

As a former lifeguard, she took action.

"I took off after him, chased him down, and I was calling out after him -- 'you gotta stop, gotta stop,'" Thomas says.

"I've yanked a couple of kids out of the deep end, but it was an entirely different situation. I mean the man was literally dying in my hands. it was terrifying."

Natatia Bledsoe, a spokesperson for the Fredericksburg Police Department tells ABC7, "She created a tourniquet with her own bare hands, wrapping her fingers around his arm to help stop the bleeding."

For her actions, she's been called a hero.

"We are crediting her with saving this man's life because those initial attempts to stop the bleeding were crucial," Bledsoe says.

"I'm trying to take it as humbly as I can, without being like, 'yes that's me, I need my own theme song and a cape,'" Thomas says.

But when Thomas turned around, her purse was gone.

"It's events like this that just kind of restore a little faith in humanity, and then just take it right back," Thomas says.

Police have surveillance picture of a man they consider the prime suspect. It shows him unsuccessfully trying to withdraw money from her account.

The man that she saved injured himself by putting his arm through a window. He was drunk, is homeless, and has been charged with destruction of property.

But even though she got herself into this mess, and her purse got stolen as a result, Thomas says she's still happy she was there.

"Nobody deserves to die, especially not like that," Thomas says.

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