A heroic man put his past experiences with police aside and managed to pull an officer to safety when the police car caught on fire following a bad crash.
Daylan McLee, 31, was wrongfully arrested in 2016 when he rushed to a bar in Dunbar, Pennsylvania, after his sister called to ask for a ride home because a fight had broken out.
At the time, McLee managed to disarm a man who was standing in the bar’s car park with a gun. He threw the weapon aside, but still police began to fire shots at him, causing him to run away in an attempt to avoid being hit.
You can see how McLee came to help after the car crash here:
McLee spent a year in jail for his wrongful arrest before a jury acquitted him after reviewing footage of the incident, and he has since filed a lawsuit against four Pennsylvania State Police troopers.
In spite of his awful experience, McLee didn’t hesitate to help when he learned there had been a car crash involving a police cruiser outside his apartment in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, June 21.
McLee saw flames starting to engulf the car with officer Jay Hanley still inside, and he later told ABC: ‘I don’t know what came across me, but I ripped the door open and just pulled him to safety across the street.’
The 31-year-old said the decision to help another human being wasn’t difficult, though even some of his close friends are said to have wondered if he hesitated because of his previous interactions with law enforcement officers.
No. There is value in every human life. We are all children of God and I can’t imagine just watching anyone burn. No matter what other people have done to me, or other officers, I thought, ‘this guy deserves to make it home safely to his family.’
We need to work on our humanity… that’s the main problem of this world. We’re stuck on how to get up or to get even, and that is not how I was raised to be. You learn, you live, you move on and I was always taught to forgive big. You can’t base every day of your life off of one interaction you have with one individual.
McLee had another run-in with police a few months ago, when he ran from a porch gathering after officers in plain clothes and vests approached with their guns drawn. The officers apparently didn’t explain they were police, and he stopped running and put his hands behind his head as soon as they identified themselves.
The 31-year-old was charged with fleeing and resisting arrest, but he claimed that during the arrest an officer kicked him in the face through a fence, splitting his lip. The use of force was allegedly caught on a security camera and he plans to fight the charges.
Uniontown Police Lt. Thomas Kolencik’s told WTAE-Pittsburgh his department was grateful McLee was nearby and able to step in when the crash happened, ABC reports.
Daylan actually said, ‘I’m not going to let him die.’ There’s just no words to describe, you know.
McLee later realised he recognised Hanley from when he was patrolling the neighbourhood a few weeks earlier, saying: ‘He speaks to people; he says hello; he isn’t an officer that harasses anybody. He commented to me about the heat was coming for us.’
McLee has a 13-year-old son, Avian, who he is trying to teach to look at people as individuals, rather than judging based on the colour of their skin, their job or other peoples’ opinions.
Some people may think I look intimidating… and I can’t hate the trooper who shot at me for what he doesn’t know.
I don’t want to be called a hero. I just want to be known as an individual who is an upstanding man. No matter… what or where, just an upstanding person. And I hope (that trooper) sees this and knows he’s forgiven.
Following the incident, Hanley was flown to a hospital in West Virginia where he underwent surgery and is recovering.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk