FLINT TWP. — Police Ofc. Neal Donovan received the Medal of Meritorious Service July 15 for efforts credited with saving the life of a township woman in an incident on April 30.
Donovan responded to a call on that date from the manager at Clovertree Apartments off Court Street who was concerned about the welfare of a tenant believed to be having a mental breakdown, said Police Chief George Sippert, in recounting how Donovan earned his award.
Donovan made contact with the tenant who had barricaded her door and began screaming and cursing.
Donovan got the key from the manager and managed to open the door despite it being blocked by a refrigerator the tenant had moved from her kitchen.
The tenant retreated to her bedroom as back-up help arrived.
Donovan then when outside and began talking to the tenant through a window. She was holding a steak knife to her throat and said she would kill herself if anyone tried to come inside.
Donovan continued talking to the distraught woman and convinced her to open the window and put the knife down, Sippert said.
At that point, he was able to break through the window screen and confiscate the knife. Back-up officers moved in and took the woman into protective custody. She was transported to a local facility for evaluation and treatment.
Officers found deplorable conditions inside the apartment, Sippert said.
He praised Officer Donovan for “tremendous courage.” Without his intervention, Sippert said it is likely the woman would have seriously hurt or killed herself.
The Medal of Meritorious Service presented to Donovan recognizes diligence above and beyond the call of duty under difficult life and death circumstances.