HOUSTON – A homeless man who was pulled from Brays Bayou on Monday morning said he had the situation in hand before rescue crews arrived.
The rescued started about 7:30 a.m. near State Highway 288 and MacGregor Way.
Houston Fire Department District Chief James Watson said members of the Texas Department of Transportation spotted the man in the water on a traffic camera and then called for help.
The man, who identified himself as 55-year-old Terry Hill, and his makeshift shelter could be seen floating in the water on Houston TranStar cameras as crews arrived and worked to pull him to shore.
Watson said rescue crews were trying to use ropes to pull Hill to safety, but he refused to use them.
“We threw a total of three lines out there,” Watson said. “He just kept tying them off to the rail.”
Eventually, two rescuers went into the water, tied a line to Hill and pulled him to the shore. Hill appeared to become a bit combative once he arrived on the bank, shouting at rescuers to stop pulling on him.
Hill said he was moving the raft that contained all his belongings when he got caught in the water. He said that while he was initially appreciative of the rescue crews, he believed the situation was under control.
“I would’ve managed,” said Hill, who has been homeless for 17 years.
Hill’s demeanor changed, however, once the line he tied to his makeshift raft broke and his belongings began floating down the bayou.
“Everything that I got,” Hill said as he watched the raft float away.
Hill later told emergency workers that he wanted to file a complaint and then threatened a lawsuit.
Watson said he is just glad that his team was able to save the man’s life.
Authorities were able to pull the man to safety! Great teamwork! pic.twitter.com/1plP1YgUlE— Vincent Crivelli (@KPRC2Vincent) June 24, 2019
Editor's note: The name of the bayou where the rescue happened has been corrected.