Heroic actions of ‘Amazing Jay’ who saved 24 people and 2 dogs from deadly cold is the story America needs

A man named Jay Withey, better known now as “Merry Christmas Jay,” is being called a hero by police after saving 24 people and two dogs in the Buffalo blizzard by breaking into a school to keep them warm, feed them, and use the facilities until they could safely leave.

(Video Credit: WGRZ-TV)

Withey will not be charged with breaking and entering into the school on Dec. 23. Instead, the 27-year-old may get an award from the police for his selfless actions that saved the lives of others during the bomb cyclone that killed dozens of people.

“Merry Christmas Jay” left a note apologizing to Pine Hill School for breaking in, explaining that he had to on Friday evening to save people’s lives. Later, he would even offer to pay for damages which he will also not have to do.

“I’m terribly sorry about breaking the school window [and] for breaking in the kitchen. Got stuck at 8 p.m. Friday and slept in my truck with two strangers. Just trying not to die. There were 7 elderly people also stuck and out of fuel. I had to do it to save everyone and get them shelter and food and a bathroom,” his note read.

A school keyholder received an alarm about a break-in on Friday evening, but police couldn’t get there due to the brutal winter storm, according to Fox News. When they did arrive on the scene, the police found the note from “Merry Christmas Jay.”

The surveillance footage from the school showed “people taking care of people.”

“There was a freezer full of food but no one touched it. They only ate what was necessary to stay alive. They used the gym for the kids to play and pulled the smart boards out of the classrooms to watch the news for updates,” the Cheektowaga Police Department said. “They had 2 dogs they were also attending to. When they were finally able to leave safely, you never would have known anyone was there.”

No looting, no damage… just caring for each other the way Americans should.

“I feel 100% that Jay’s actions were heroic and 100% saved lives,” Cheektowaga Police Chief Brian Gould said according to WBAL.

Withey’s story began when he went to pick up a friend who was stranded in the storm. With only a quarter of a tank of gas, his car quickly became stuck in the whiteout conditions.

“I walked to the houses to see if I could find shelter, any house that had lights on. I had $500 that I was offering, to sleep on their floor,” Withey told WBEN in an interview.

After being turned down by everyone he approached, he walked back to his truck with fear he had never felt before.

“It’s the only time in my life I actually thought I was going to die,” Withey asserted.

“The wind blowing, the snow falling… you couldn’t see if you stuck your hand out. You couldn’t see the top of your fingers of your own hand,” he recounted.

He went in search of shelter and found it at the school.

Soaking wet and freezing, Withey broke a window to get inside the building. Instead of thinking of himself, he went back out into the storm to help others who were stranded.

“I can see there’s a couple other vehicles stuck in the vicinity of the school. So I go to them and tell them I’ve broken into the school and that there’s heat in there,” Withey remarked. “It was a matter of survival. It was just a very scary situation to be in.”

“I thought we were going to die,” Sabrina Andino, one of the trapped drivers, said. “It was scary and unforgettable. But seeing Jay … and getting us in the school really saved us.”

After “Merry Christmas Jay” gathered the stranded drivers inside the school, he pried open the kitchen door so they could get some food. He also went to the school nurse’s office for blankets and water for those he rescued. He left the school’s front door open overnight so anyone trying to get out of the storm could come inside for shelter.

“We all came together,” Andino commented.

The group of strangers is planning a reunion for the summer according to WBAL.

At least 39 people perished in the storm on Friday and Saturday for a variety of reasons ranging from freezing to death to falling asleep inside a car and dying from carbon monoxide poisoning. People wandered outside of their homes and immediately got disoriented in the blizzard, some freezing to death in the streets. A staggering 50.3 inches fell during the blizzard.

The National Guard is still going door to door in New York’s second-largest city and officials are warning that more bodies could be found.

Republished with permission from American Wire News Service

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