When some people come across others in danger, they tell themselves that someone else will intervene. Cpl. Joseph DeSena and 1st Lt. Melissa Campbell aren’t like some people, though.
DeSena and Campbell, both members of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 91st Military Police Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (LI), intervened in a potential domestic violence incident on Route 3 in Black River, N.Y. on March 7th, 2021. Active bystanders like the two Soldiers take steps to make a difference. In this case, the actions of the two Soldiers prevented possible injuries and greatly assisted the abilities of the local law enforcement.
DeSena was the first to spot the incident when he came across what he described as a 'disabled vehicle' in the middle of the road with its hazard lights on. As he approached, he observed that the vehicle was moving very slowly. He saw a man walking into oncoming traffic, yelling at the woman driving the vehicle. DeSena worked to stop oncoming traffic, alerting the other drivers on the road to the man in the street to make sure no one was hurt, then called 9-1-1.
"I tried to explain to the two of them that they were putting their own lives as well as the lives of others at risk," DeSena said. "It's important that if you see something, you say something. Bystander intervention is a key part of keeping the entire community safe."
Campbell was driving along Route 3 when she noticed DeSena on the side of the road and pulled over to check in on him. After explaining the situation, Campbell aided DeSena in intervening with the incident, keeping the vehicle and the individual on foot out of harm's way and from endangering others.
"Beyond just being an MP, beyond being a member of the military, I have a duty to act when I see someone that may need help," Campbell said. "Sometimes you've got to look out for other people, even complete strangers."
"You've always got to look at the big picture. The Soldiers could have just seen an argument on the road and just kept on driving," said Capt. Shaun Kiely, the commander of HHD. "But they didn't. They looked at the effects that the situation might have had on other people, and how it might have led to someone getting hurt - and they acted."
Authorities arrived on the scene and handled the situation, and the Soldiers stood by to provide any additional assistance that they could to the police.
“They just always go above and beyond with everything they do, even off duty,” said Kiely.