Houston, TX – Firefighters rescued a homeless man who was clinging to a railing Monday morning in Brays Bayou and he thanked them by hurling insults and threatening to sue them (video below).
Houston Fire Department District Chief James Watson said that Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) cameras spotted 55-year-old Terry Hill clinging to a walkway railing near State Highway 288 and MacGregor Way at about 7:20 a.m. on June 24 and called the fire department, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Hill lived underneath the bridge along the bayou and was caught off guard when huge storms rolled into Houston overnight.
He built a raft of sorts out of his possessions and was attempting to secure it to the railing of the submerged walkway when the fire department arrived to help him, the Houston Chronicle reported.
The swift water rescue was captured by both the DOT cameras and news cameras who were quickly on scene to cover the emergency.
When the fire department first arrived, they threw ropes to Hill but he tied them off on the railing and refused to get out of the water.
"He was trying to protect everything he had," Chief Watson said. "Ultimately, the most important thing is his life.”
Hill was not cooperative with his rescuers and continued to try and tie his makeshift raft to the railing instead of taking the lifeline that had been thrown to him, the video showed.
So fire officials decided to put a rescuer in the water to help Hill.
Video showed as a firefighter in wet gear made his way through the violent current to Hill’s side and handed him a life belt to put around himself.
But Hill refused to secure the life belt so he could be safely rescued, the video showed.
The firefighter tried to get Hill to cooperate and told him that he wasn’t going to let either of them drown that day, but the man could not be convinced to cooperate in his own rescue.
That’s when fire officials sent a second rescuer into the swift current to help the first firefighter complete the rescue.
The video showed the second firefighter was able to climb up onto the railing and secure the life belt around Hill, and then finally the man began to make his way across the fast-moving water.
When firefighters first started pulling Hill and he felt the pressure of the water rushing against him, the man began yelling at the firefighters to “Pull! Pull!”
When he got to the other side, the firefighters fished him out of the water and to safety, the video showed.
The man showed absolutely no appreciation for the risk his rescuers had taken on his behalf.
"I really wasn't stuck," Hill told the Houston Chronicle. "I would've managed."
Instead of thanking the first responders who had put their own lives on the line to help get Hill out of the water, the man became outraged as his raft of personal belongings broke free from its tenuous mooring on the railing and floated free down the bayou in the raging storm waters.
“I ain’t got nothing else to do right now but sue you all,” Hill told his rescuers as KPRC filmed the interaction.
Watch firefighters rescue the man from the water in the video below: