An Injured Hero To The Rescue

Dear Pamela,

Two people fell into the river by Chinatown. Shannon Gripper and Glen Ocampo, who were returning to the office after their lunch, came to the rescue. Shannon and Glen work for the City & County of Honolulu, Section 8 Rental Assistance Program.

Shannon is no stranger to the media. He was the victim of a hit and run near Aina Haina Shopping Center several months ago. He suffered injuries of his wrists and shoulder. Shannon just had returned to work right before the potential drownings happened. Without hesitation or worrying about reinjuring himself, Shannon ran over and started pulling the poor people who were hanging onto a bed sheet that bystanders threw over into the river for them. Glen started to contact HPD and later helped Shannon to pull those people up.

Shannon was in great pain when he returned to the office. When asked why he helped them despite his own condition, he just simply said, “But they were drowning … they were slipping away from the sheet, they could not hold on … they could have drowned.” It is good to know that people still are willing to perform with such selflessness.

Jennifer Chantrill

Dear Jennifer,

“We were having a lunch to celebrate my return to work after three months,” says Shannon, who underwent several surgeries after his hit-and-run incident. “As we were leaving the restaurant, someone yelled that people fell into the river, so Glen and I ran over to help. It must have been after a heavy rain because the river level was elevated, and the two people couldn’t get a grip on the wall. Glen called HPD and then the two of us pulled the woman out, then the man. I was hurting afterward, but it was worth it.”

APPLAUSE gives Shannon Gripper a standing ovation for ignoring his own injuries and working with Glen Ocampo to save two lives. Authorities have not found the person responsible for hitting Shannon and his bike, but Shannon is intent on moving on.

“I don’t wish that person any ill will. I’m taking the high road, knowing that person will have to come to terms with what they did. Right now I am overjoyed with the birth of my son, so I am overwhelmed with wonderful feelings.”

Aloha Pamela,

As I helped my blind husband onto the escalator at Ala Moana Pacific Center, he lost his footing and fell backward on top of me. We both were rolling downward against the escalator steps. I was yelling, “Help! Help!” Suddenly, as if by magic, the escalator turned off. I would like to thank this person for saving our lives. We are so grateful! Then a young man named Ed lifted me up at the foot of the escalator. I was taken to the emergency room with multiple injuries. My husband had minor injuries. APPLAUSE to all those who helped us!

Law Yee T. Fujii

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Fujii,

Your mystery angel Ed must have been the person to turn off the escalator. “There is a button at the entrance of the stairs,” says Vernon Akina of AMPC Security. “Anyone seeing a person in distress can turn off the escalator temporarily. We’re glad someone was there to help.”

If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96813, or email Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.