DANBURY, CT - Western Connecticut State University men's basketball sophomore forward Jonathan Mowatt (Waterbury, CT) and his brother Joshua were the right people in the right spot at the most opportune time on Wednesday, November 22.
The Colonials had dropped a 97-88 decision to Hamilton College the afternoon before at WestConn's Feldman Arena.
Jonathan, a graduate of Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, joined Joshua for an hour's drive from Danbury to New York City and eventually a ferry ride to Staten Island, NY to celebrate Thanksgiving with their extended family.
Minutes after docking, the brothers recognized a man struggling with another man on a ledge overlooking the waterway nearby. They cautiously approached the two strangers not knowing if the struggle was a ploy to get the Mowatts involved in foul play. Jonathan and Joshua quickly noticed that one of the men was distraught and contemplating taking his own life by leaping off the ledge. The brothers hesitated for just a couple of seconds then realized their help was the only way from a tragedy occurring.
"It comes as no surprise to me that Jon would reach out and help someone he does not even know," said WestConn head men's basketball coach Jason Harlow.
After a brief struggle, Joshua was able to secure the troubled soul while Jonathan tracked down members of the Staten Island Ferry Police Department, stationed nearby.
Joshua lost his grip momentarily, but was able to re-establish a strong hold of the man as the police arrived and took over the rescue.
"Jon is a selfless individual," acknowledged Harlow. "You would be hard pressed to find someone saying anything negative about him. He is a wonderful young man who is always kind, courteous and respectful. He comes from a terrific family."
Jonathan, who wanted no attention for this, had a simple response to everything that happened that night, "it's sad" as he shook his head.
Sitting around the Mowatt family's dining room table a day later surely had a different feeling this year.