Mt. Vernon Register-News

CNHI Special Projects

March 15, 2013

PPD to honor local heroes

Bystanders urged to get involved

PITTSBORO — Two employees of the Pittsboro Veterinary Clinic became heroes in their community when they intervened in a domestic violence situation on Feb. 22.

Pittsboro Police Chief Christi Patterson said their actions were nothing short of heroic.

“Ashley Mason was taking the trash out behind the clinic when she heard screams,” Patterson said. “She saw a male trying to pull a female out of a truck and into a house.”

She said Mason went back into the vet clinic and got her co-worker, Jennifer Powell.

“I think the report said they heard ‘blood curdling’ screams and called 911,” Patterson said. “They observed the house and saw the woman come outside. They grabbed her and took her over to the clinic.”

She said Mason and Powell kept the woman safe until police arrived.

Patterson said Neal McKinney, the man involved in the domestic dispute, even came over to the clinic and demanded that the woman be returned to him.

“The two ladies locked the doors and told him the police were on the way,” she said. “They put themselves in personal endangerment and helped someone from receiving any further harm.”

Patterson said McKinney was arrested and charged with domestic battery.

Mason and Powell will be honored by Patterson and the Pittsboro Police Department during the Pittsboro Town Council meeting at 7 p.m. March 19 in the council’s chambers.

“I am allowed to recognized local citizens for going above and beyond,” Patterson said. “The honor will actually be for an ‘act of bravery.’”

Patterson said she was so impressed by what the women had done that she shared the story with Julie Randall, director of the Hendricks County Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“I was just amazed,” she said. “What they did was amazing. They stepped up and did the right thing. They were just courageous.”

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