Public figures don’t typically make headlines for random acts of kindness, those that aren’t scripted or arranged for the cameras. These days, celebrities like Ryan Gosling — who reportedly saved a woman from being hit by a New York City taxi two years ago — tend to attract attention for such acts on social media.
But when City Manager Jack Schnirman was out for his early-morning run on the boardwalk on April 9, he did what anyone else would do, he said, when he saw a woman who looked to be in her 20s fall off her bicycle.
“She was making a U-turn at the end of the boardwalk by New York Avenue, and she fell,” said Schnirman, 36, a West End resident. “I asked her if she was OK and she said, ‘No, I hurt my ankle and I think it’s broken.’”
Schnirman said that the woman was visibly upset — and in pain — and couldn’t be carried to the nearest urgent care center, CityMD, on West Beech Street, a roughly five-minute walk. With no one around to help, Schnirman said, he took it upon himself to take her to the walk-in facility.
“I ran home, drove back and she couldn’t get up, so I carried her from the boardwalk to my truck and drove her to CityMD,” he recounted, adding that he put her bike in the back of his truck. “She was in a lot of pain — she couldn’t move her foot. I don’t know what she did to it, but it was all crooked, and she took a bad fall. They took her right away — it was very nice, they sent someone out to the truck to help her out and took her in a wheelchair right in. In the end, her ankle was broken and she had to have surgery.”
Schnirman, who was somewhat reluctant to discuss the incident, said there was no time for conversation, and he only got the woman’s first name. But her neighbor, Lee Winters, wrote about the incident on his blog, “Lee by the Sea.”