Family of man rescued from Elizabeth River thanks Norfolk Police

Posted at 10:22 PM, Aug 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-29 06:38:06-04

Norfolk, Va. --- Mark and Nicole Harrison met and thanked the three Norfolk police officers who saved their son's life.

On Friday afternoon, the couple expressed their gratitude for Officers Mitchel Ashton, Richard Mazzio, and Derek Condon. "You don't know how much my son means to me," Mark Harrison said while fighting back tears. "Just to see you guys respond like that so selflessly - it means a lot."

The officers rescued Kwesi Harrison from the Elizabeth River near the Pagoda on Sunday night. Unfortunately, they weren't able to get to Jae'Quan Mabry in time. The 23-year old died.

It's not clear why Mabry was in the water, but Harrison's family says Kwesi jumped in to try and save his friend, but then started struggling himself until police arrived and jumped in the water.

Officer Ashton got there first. "I arrived on scene and everybody was waving at me saying, 'Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!' I knew how serious it was and I knew I had to do something," Ashton said.

Harrison's family said they had trouble expressing just how grateful they are, and promised to stay in touch.