A pastor named Maurice Hardwick stopped a man from committing suicide last weekend when Hardwick was driving, missed his exit, and then happened to see the man standing on a Metro Detroit freeway overpass. Hardwick was with his wife, Kya, when they pulled over and helped prevent the man from jumping off the overpass into traffic below.
“I missed my exit, and God sent me up one more exit to turn around,” Hardwick told Local 4 News.
Maurice Hardwick: ‘he was locked in’
If he had not missed the exit, Hardwick would never have noticed the man who was planning to jump. Another driver pulled over when Hardwick and his wife did and also got out of his car to help. Kya Hardwick called 911 and said the police told her they had already received a call about the incident and were on their way. She then used her phone to record what followed next.
“He wouldn’t respond to us,” said Maurice Hardwick. “He said not one word. He didn’t even raise his head when we called him. So I knew then he was locked in.” Fearing that the man might jump before police arrived, the other driver who had stopped engaged the man in conversation while Hardwick approached him from his other side. Hardwick then pulled the man away from the bridge onto the ground, where the man resisted him. According to Hardwick, who hurt his knee as a result of the interaction, the man said, “I don’t want to live, I don’t want to be here any more, let me go.”
The police eventually arrived and took the man into custody. Despite Hardwick’s boldness, he and his wife say they were concerned at the time about his safety. “Both of them could have gone over,” said Kya, “so I just started praying. I did all that I knew to do.” And the Hardwicks are continuing to pray that the man is all right and gets the help he needs.
“I just was not willing to watch this take place on my watch,” said Hardwick.
Hardwick is a former drug dealer who now pastors Power Ministries church. He is also an activist who is passionate about replacing the violence in Detroit with peace. He told WWJ News Radio several years ago that God had given him a mission to bring peace to Detroit communities: “God told me, he says ‘pastor, I never told this generation they had to die to be in peace.’ Tell them to rip the ‘R’ and leave the ‘L’ and to live in peace.”
So Hardwick founded the Live in Peace Movement (L.I.P.), where he and others go into the community and hold protests. Said Hardwick, “If I do not like this…where is my protest? So we protest and we lament over the blood that run through the street of Detroit of my young people — we definitely hold accountability over ourselves, and over our neighborhood by telling them to stop the violence.”
In a Facebook post, Hardwick said his interaction with the man showed him “just how much our youth need us right now.” His and his wife’s actions are a reminder to all of us of the needs present in our own communities and the importance of being willing to help others when we see an opportunity to do so.