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Saviour on a Segway

By Jocelyn Geboy in News on Jul 6, 2007 11:15PM


This is Officer Coates. When we first saw him at approximately 4 p.m. this afternoon, he was standing on a Segway (instant annoying!) and appeared to be telling some dudes with big signs announcing a 50% off sale on tuxedos (?) on Michigan Avenue that they couldn't stand there or something. This was right out front of 535 N. Michigan Ave. just south of the Intercontinental Hotel. We thought, "Who cares? Leave them alone!"

All of a sudden, some people quickly got his attention, and he seemed distracted from the sign guys. We thought, "Good. Those guys can get away unnoticed." And then we saw what he was attending to. There was an older woman (hard to tell ... she wasn't looking good at all, so she could have been 55 or she could have been 70) on the bridge over Grand Avenue. She was flat on her back with her Walgreens bag on the ground at her side. We saw her. Her lips were blue. We were scared. There was a good chance this woman was already dead or was dying before our very eyes.

Officer Coates walked up and called in and started proper emergency procedure. He tried to get her attention, to no avail. He checked for vitals. And when there was no response, he began CPR. His much younger partner didn't seem to be of much help (he was making an attempt, but Coates was doing the majority of the work), and we wanted to scream — "Do something! Help him!" But, after a bit, the woman started to rouse ... just as the Fire Department and EMTs got there.

We silently sat there, sending up silent prayers to the universe, not sure if it was really OK to be sitting there watching it all like some sick reality TV show. But we wanted to know if she was going to live. And we wanted to see what happened afterward. Coates seemed visibly shaken, filled with adrenaline. We couldn't help but to take a picture, because we know we like to get on about how much corruption and horror goes on in the CPD, and we wanted to come back to Chicagoist and tell you about an everyday hero.

He Segwayed away some, just to get out of the stares of the bus stop that was right there and talked to the EMT some. Then he came back near Chicagoist, and we said, "You saved that woman's life." And he said, "Yeah. She wasn't breathing. Her eyes were ...." and he just made this sort of dead stare-y motion. He wasn't bragging. We think he was marveling at it just like we were. Just how quickly it all can come and go and come again. It was when he was talking to us that we saw his last name. Kudos, Coates. You're one of the great ones.