Year 12 student Teal Fechtor-Pradines was hanging out at Boston Common with a group of friends on October 14 when he witnessed the stabbing of two park rangers. What he did next is leading many to hail his efforts as heroic.
Fechtor-Pradines and a few other onlookers rushed to the side of the more severely injured ranger, carried him to a nearby park bench and took off their sweatshirts and shirts to hold pressure to his wounds and try to stop the bleeding while waiting for emergency personnel.
And while it was an action that very well may have saved the ranger’s life, Fechtor-Pradines doesn’t see it that way.
“I don’t feel like that,” he said Monday. “I feel like everyone should have done what I did…I wish more people were willing to help out our fellow humans on this earth.”
Still, not everyone did. And so it is Fechtor-Pradines and a number of other bystanders who are being recognized for their heroic actions.
The incident occurred on the afternoon of October 14, when the two park rangers approached a man on Boston Common and asked him to stop smoking.
Fechtor-Pradines said he was about five feet away from where the rangers stopped to talk with the man. As the confrontation grew heated, he said, a number of other witnesses began filming the confrontation, thinking the rangers may become physical.
Instead, the man lashed out, stabbing the rangers multiple times before running toward a different part of Boston Common. While Fechtor-Pradines and others rushed to the aid of the rangers, other bystanders followed the suspect, helping police apprehend him shortly after.
Fechtor-Pradines said he wasn’t really thinking when he jumped in to help one of the injured rangers; it just seemed like the right thing to do.
“I know the impact of having someone you care about die,” he said. “This was an older man, he obviously had family. I didn’t want someone else to go through that.”
It wasn’t until the aftermath of the situation- when he was interviewed by police and then, last week, when he testified about the incident in front of a grand jury- that the shock of the situation really set in, he said.
“Knowing that I was responsible for whether or not he was going to make it, I think that’s what really stuck with me, and what would have affected me from it if he wasn’t OK,” Fechtor-Pradines said.
But thanks to Fechtor-Pradines and a number of other witnesses, both rangers are expected to be OK.
Emergency personnel and police have credited those who jumped into action with saving the men’s lives. And one of the rangers, who was already released from the hospital, took to Facebook to thank those who helped him.
“I would like to thank Boston EMS and my fellow Park Rangers and Boston police for their apprehension of the suspect,” he wrote. “Also, any bystanders for doing what most people wouldn’t.”
Still, Fechtor-Pradines does not believe he did anything extraordinary. He’s always believed in helping others, he said, and always hoped he would jump in to help if he saw someone in trouble. This incident, he said, has simply confirmed his beliefs.
“I feel like it’s your basic right that you owe to your fellow humans on this earth,” he said.
We’re so proud of Teal and his heroic efforts to help others in need!