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Father, Son to be Recognized for Helping Save a Life

John Perry and his 5-year-old son, Jack, were planning to play some catch on Christmas Eve, and Jack insisted they use the high school football field. When John parked behind Brookside Elementary, he noticed a woman was in danger in another car.

They could have played catch with the football in another field. Two fields were closer to their home.

But Jack Perry, 5, insisted on playing at the new Milford High School field. And so on Christmas Eve, his father pulled into the adjoining and parked the Jeep in the back, near the athletic field fence.

As he did, John Perry said he noticed another car, parked tight up against the back of the building. Something wasn't right and he looked longer at it, long enough so his son asked him what he was looking at.

Perry was vague with the child but what he saw was a garden hose connected to the exhaust, then fed through a window. He could hear the car running and knew someone was trying to commit suicide, or maybe already had.

He told Jack he thought the person might have fallen, and hurt themselves, and told him to stay in the Jeep. Perry, a 27-year employee with the Milford Highway Department, called 911 before he reached the other car, parked about 30 feet away.

The woman was laying down in the back seat, and when he finally found an open door, the driver's side door, and yanked it open, she sat up and tried to motion him away. Perry said he noticed she had cut herself with a knife.

On the phone with the police dispatcher, "I told them, you better get up here quickly."

In less than three minutes, he estimated, the first officer arrived, police Detective Jason Ball, who ran over to the car and was able to disarm the woman, and turn her over to EMTs. 

Within minutes, Perry took his son to the field next door, so the boy could throw the football as planned. His son never knew what happened. But Perry feels the child was responsible for them finding the woman in time.

Jack had insisted that they go to the real football field, the one with the bleachers and the scoreboard.

Only because they parked behind the school was the woman discovered.

Both Perrys will be recognized in an upcoming meeting with Milford selectmen. The board received a letter from Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin, describing Perry's intervention.

"It's not heroic," Perry said, of his own actions. "It's the right thing to do. If something doesn't look right, you have to do something."

Andrea Ellsworth January 09, 2013 at 02:21 AM
Dave you are so right about John. I have known him for most of my life and I can honestly say that he is one of the most kind hearted people you could meet. :)
Andrea Ellsworth January 09, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Way to go John and Jack. I always say there are angels that walk amongst us and it would seem that it is the case here. So glad that John did the right thing. Christmas would have been very different for this woman's family. Not everyone would have gotten involved but he did. You are a good soul John and deserve the praise.
Old Timer January 09, 2013 at 04:14 AM
I've known John since he was just a boy. It's no coincidence that he was there to help this person in their darkest hour. Mr. Perry is a saint among us. It's in his nature. I knew Johns father Paul Perry, who passed away in 1998. In the 1960's Paul saved a mans life when he ran into a burning home and pulled an unconcious man from the blazing flames. Paul would have been very proud of John and his grandson Jack for helping this woman in need . In this day and age with so much tragedy and sadness in the news, it's wonderful to finally see a happy ending to what could have been such a sad story, again.
Laurie martin January 09, 2013 at 04:01 PM
This is a prime example of how God works! John and his little one were put there for a reason, and hopefully someone will NOW reach out to this woman with the help she needs. All Glory be to God!
kareen January 11, 2013 at 04:28 AM
That is such a wonderful story/outcome for this time of year......NOTHING is worth a life!

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