Man recognized for preventing suicide on I-696 overpass in Lathrup Village

City recognizes suicide prevention month

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published October 2, 2019

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LATHRUP VILLAGE — A local man was commended by Lathrup Village officials for saving a life this past summer.

At a Sept. 23 Lathrup Village City Council meeting, Mayor Kelly Garrett presented Detroit resident Maurice Hardwick with a lifesaving award for taking action during a potential suicide situation Aug. 5 on an Interstate 696 overpass.

Hardwick, who goes by “Pastor Mo,” posted a video of the incident to social media, which shows a woman sitting on the rail of an overpass above I-696 in Lathrup Village.

Another man can be seen talking to the woman as Hardwick approaches her from behind, grabs her and takes her to the ground. The two men then hold the woman down until police arrive.

Garrett thanked Hardwick for his actions and his service to the community.

“It was a bittersweet pleasure to be there. A very tough moment in my life, making that call to get involved and all the what-ifs,” Hardwick said. “What if it went wrong? But I saw the young person was just ready to give up, and I have a heart for young people and a heart for God, and I knew I had to do something to act fast, and I just went for life.”

Hardwick said he is a pastor at Power Ministry in Southfield, near Lahser Road and Civic Center Drive.

“The spirit led me to go for life, and I’m glad that person is still living,” he said. “We can be there for each other at people’s lowest moments of their life. It makes a difference to get involved and help people. I’m happy to have had that moment. I hope it does well for somebody else in that person’s life.”

After the award was presented, the council adopted a resolution designating September as suicide prevention month in the city.

“It really was touching to me that you took time, because there’s so many people that don’t take the time to care about other people — to even stop and just ask how they’re doing — let alone save their lives, and I appreciate that,” Garrett said. “Thank you for that.”

According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates have been rising in nearly every state. In 2016, the CDC reports, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide.

In Michigan, suicide rates rose by 37% between 1999 and 2016, according to the CDC.

Garrett said the topic is close to her heart, as she’s dealt with suicide in her personal life.

“September is not only prevention month; it’s also the month my nephew died. … It’s something that every September, this is what we have to go through and deal with,” Garrett said.

Councilwoman Donna Stallings said she recently attended a suicide prevention workshop.

“It’s a real issue that has to be discussed,” Stallings said. “We have to make awareness of it, and it’s increasing as we speak.”

Lathrup Village Police Chief Scott McKee could not be reached for further details on the incident by press time.

For more information on suicide prevention or additonal resources, go to cdc.gov/features/preventingsuicide.

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