“Don’t help me! I’m not worth it!” were the words of a 13-year-old little girl seconds after she jumped into Lake Michigan. “Yes you are!” responded Kenosha Police Officer Jason Kreuger as he was tossing the young girl an emergency rescue rope. Kenosha Police released this video Monday from an incident that occurred on Friday, September 15, 2023. Passers by called 9-1-1 just after 6:30 pm to report a young girl on the rocks bordering the unforgiving and relentless waves of Lake Michigan. The wind was also at high speeds at the time.
The video starts with the girl sitting on a rock and two Kenosha Police Officers talking to her. Without warning, she jumped into the extremely cold water. Officer Josh Fikejs immediately took off his duty belt, containing his duty weapon and other heavy objects and went in the water after the girl. “My name is Josh, come with me,” Fikejs later said. The girl resisted help saying over and over that she wasn’t worth it. “You are worth it because you are a human being,” replied Kreuger. The girl looked to be struggling and certainly may have died without the heroic actions of Officer Fikejs.
“Officer Fikejs and Krueger showed exceptional poise and displayed empathy towards this individual in crisis. They truly modeled the Kenosha Police Department’s core values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence. The Kenosha community is fortunate to have officers like Fikejs and Kreuger” said Kenosha Police Spokesman Leo Viola Tuesday morning.
Kenosha Police Chief Patrick Patton told KCE “I am proud of our officers’ quick response and willingness to put their own safety and well-being at risk to save the young child. They worked together to prevent what would have been an absolute tragedy from occurring. Their heroic actions and teamwork represented our department to the highest standard. I want thank KFD for their response as well. As always, they provided the young girl and our officer with the highest level of care and we appreciate them.”
Indeed Officer Fikejs risked his life. He was in the water long enough to be diagnosed with hypothermia. His choice of hair style didn’t hamper his recovery. He did return to work yesterday. The other two officers involved, Jason Kreuger and Brittany Bray were also slightly injured but went immediately back on patrol after the save.
If you have any thoughts about suicide, just remember what the brave Kenosha Police Officers said – we all have value. There are avenues of help. In the United States you can call or text 988 – Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. This is a service available to both adults and juveniles.