It was a time for Cpl. Robert Eastman to say thank you.
Grovetown Department of Public Safety Cpl. Robert Eastman (second from right) thanks fellow law enforcement members during a city council meeting. Many people helped save him after Eastman was stabbed. The man charged in the attack, Billy Charles Pate, is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 26.
Photo by Valerie Rowell
"Everyone here played a part in my survival," the Grovetown Department of Public Safety officer said. "I should not be here today. I just thank these guys from the bottom of my heart."
The thanks came Monday at a Grovetown City Council meeting, where all those who helped save Eastman's life were honored.
Police say Billy Charles Pate confronted Eastman at his home concerning a "domestic situation'' before attacking and stabbing Eastman.
Pate is accused of following Eastman's car as he left his Grovetown home. Police say Pate rammed his van into Eastman's Chevrolet Corvette. Eastman thought he had been in a traffic wreck until, he said, Pate pulled him from the car and stabbed him.
Eastman was airlifted to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to repair his cut jugular vein and carotid artery. He also needed treatment for numerous cuts around his neck, chest, back, arms and hands.
Grovetown Department of Public Safety Chief Al Robinson presented plaques to Grovetown Water and Sewer Director Todd Baldwin and Chris Redmond, who live close to Eastman. The chief honored them for their actions, which he said likely saved Eastman's life.
Robinson also gave certificates to the police and emergency medical personnel involved in treating Eastman and apprehending Pate.
"Most everything we see is the worst of everybody," Robinson said. "That day, we saw the best of everybody. ... It made me feel good to live in the city from what I saw that day."
Baldwin, an EMT and Harlem firefighter, had been joking around with Eastman before witnessing the incident. He and Redmond ran to Eastman's aid. Redmond, who was late leaving for the lake that day, had towels in his hands, which Baldwin said were used to staunch the flow of blood from Eastman's wounds.
Baldwin chased Pate and called for emergency medical personnel.
"These two are guardian angels to me in that sense," Eastman said.
"He deserved it more than I did," Baldwin said of Redmond. "Me being a firefighter, I've seen and dealt with this stuff. ... I can imagine for him to get out and without question (do this), that in itself said something more about the neighborhood. ... He's more heroic."
Eastman has healed from his wounds and returned to the job he loves on the streets of Grovetown.
Pate now faces 17 charges at his trial, set for Sept. 26, including four counts of aggravated assault and stalking in connection to the attack.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.