Sixteen-year-old Sara Picard intervened in a struggle between a man and a woman downtown Parksville on Nov. 14. Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne awarded the teen with a token of the city’s gratitude at the Dec. 2 city council meeting. (City of Parksville photo)

City of Parksville honours 16-year-old for intervening in dispute involving knife-wielding man

‘Courageous individuals rarely call themselves heroes, but that’s exactly what they are’

The City of Parksville has recognized a young woman’s act of bravery.

While out running errands downtown Parksville on Nov. 14, 16-year-old Sara Picard saw a man attempting to push a woman into a van. Picard quickly ran over to pull the man off the woman.

The man then whipped out a knife and Picard backed up a few feet but stood her ground, pulling out her phone to call police. Before RCMP could arrive, the man stabbed himself and later died later from his injuries.

Despite the danger, and the fact that the man was quite a bit larger than her, Picard didn’t hesitate to step in.

READ MORE: Teen hailed as ‘hero’ in Parksville says she was just doing what anyone should do

“I just saw a woman in danger, you know? Obviously she was feeling unsafe, and I thought that if she knew that somebody else, another woman was there for her, that she would maybe feel a little bit better about the situation,” said Picard.

At the Dec. 2 Parksville city council meeting, Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne recognized Picard’s actions as heroic, and awarded her a small glass sculpture, emblazoned with the word ‘brave.’

“Courageous individuals rarely call themselves heroes, but that’s exactly what they are,” said Mayne. “They are the people who risk their lives and choose to defy their own interests of survival to try to save a loved one or a perfect stranger whose life was in immediate danger.”

Mayne says the city wishes to recognize Picard as brave, humble, selfless, compassionate and empathetic.

“The City of Parksville is so proud to recognize this exceptional young woman, and it is my pleasure to present Sara Picard with a token of our gratitude for her selfless bravery,” he said.

READ MORE: Man, 50, dies following incident in downtown Parksville

Picard received an outpouring of support on social media in the days following the incident. She said that the positive feedback is nice, but that she doesn’t consider herself a hero – she was just doing the right thing.

“I don’t really view myself as a hero. I think that I was just a citizen doing what they’re supposed to do, in a situation where it’s dangerous. If you see somebody being harmed, you should step in and help as much as you can,” said Picard.

The teen says she wouldn’t hesitate to do the same thing over again.

“Even though it was a very dangerous situation and it has caused me some emotional distress, at the end of the day I would, just because it’s what you’re supposed to do,” said Picard.

emily.vance@pqbnews.com

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