Jul 22, 2015 1:23 PM

Portsmouth officer rescues painter who fell 3 stories


PORTSMOUTH - A police officer's road detail happened to put him in the right place and time to rescue a painter who fell during a job on Monday.

Officer Andy Nitschelm was working at the intersection of Willard Avenue and Ash Street when he struck up a conversation with a painter who was working across the street. About 30 minutes later, the officer said he heard a crashing sound. He turned in time to see the painter falling over 20 feet through the air, and hitting the ground. He had been painting the third story of a home.

Nitschelm immediately radioed emergency dispatch, and ran to the man's aid. Nitschelm held the man's head still while help arrived.

The painter suffered serious internal injuries, but is expected to make a full recovery.

The victim's wife wrote to thank the officer: “Thank you so much, you are a blessing…your quick actions and thinking saved my husband’s life. My husband would be in much worse shape if it was not for you."

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