Hometown Hero--Sgt. Brian Baird - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/11/03

Hometown Hero--Sgt. Brian Baird

Sgt. Brian Baird Sgt. Brian Baird

It's not often you hear about a nick-of-time rescue. This is one of them. A Beaufort County sheriff's deputy was in the right place at the right time to save a woman's life. Sgt. Brian Baird described what he saw on the night of March 31, when he found a car parked in front of an abandoned gas station in Beaufort County.

"The lady jumped out of the car screaming for help," he said. "She had obviously been cut."

Baird says the woman had been kidnapped by knifepoint earlier in the day from an office on East Broughton Street in Savannah. The man charged for the kidnapping is her ex-husband, Ramon Mooney. According to deputies, Mooney told her to drive the car, forced her to pull over in front of the old gas station and raped her.

"I believe if everything didn't happen the way it did, we probably would be investigating a murder," Baird said.

Baird wasn't even supposed to be on duty that night, but was working late trying to serve a warrant. He couldn't find the person he was looking for. On his way back to check out for the night, Baird noticed a car swerving, pulled them over across the street from Whale Branch Middle School right next to the old abandoned gas station.

"I spoke to him for a couple of minutes, determined he wasn't drunk," said Baird. "While I was speaking to him, I noticed a flash of red, appeared to be a brake light."

Baird pulled into the gas station behind the car to investigate. He turned on his blue light. That's when the woman made her escape.

"She came out screaming, said she had been kidnapped from Savannah and he was telling her how he was going to kill her," Baird recalled.

Baird says if he was able to serve the warrant or if the vehicle turned out to be a drunk driver, he would have been tied up, hauling that person to the detention center. He says it must be the work of a higher power that led him to the abandoned gas station that night.

"She called and said, 'Hello, guardian angel,'" said Baird. "She believes like I do, that there has to be a higher power. She had been here a couple of hours and no one had noticed her."

Sgt. Brian Baird, this week's WTOC Hometown Hero.

If you'd like to nominate a Hometown Hero, you can drop us a line at the station: PO Box 8086, Savannah, GA 31412, or email mcihla@wtoc.com.

Reported by: Mike Cihla, mcihla@wtoc.com

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