Officer honored for saving man's life in New Haven - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Officer honored for saving man's life in New Haven

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New Haven Police officer Christian Bruckhart was honored for saving a man's life. (WFSB) New Haven Police officer Christian Bruckhart was honored for saving a man's life. (WFSB)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

A New Haven officer is being credited with saving a man’s life after he found him down an embankment near a busy street in the Elm City. 

Albert Sanford had been missing for four days. However, thanks to the efforts of a New Haven police officer, who just wouldn't give up, he was found safe

“It was good to have a happy ending,” New Haven Police officer Christian Bruckhart said.

But, Bruckhart said he wasn’t sure this story would have a happy ending. 

“I couldn’t‎ leave him out there,” Bruckhart said.  “I just didn't know where he was.”

On July 14, the 56-year-old Sanford vanished without a trace. He was last seen leaving the Burger King on Whalley Avenue in New Haven. When he didn’t return home, his mother called the New Haven Police Department.

“He was at the restaurant for a coffee, couldn't find him keys and he said he was going to walk back,” Bruckhart said. 

After Bruckhart contacted some local hospitals, he and several other officers went looking for Sanford. They had no luck. As his shift was about to end, Bruckhart‎ said he decided to take one last look around. 

“It was just really aggravating me and I just couldn't go home without searching,” Bruckhart‎ said

Bruckhart stopped at an embankment near Dayton Street and Whalley Avenue. After walking 50 yards, Bruckhart said he found him.

“I thought he was dead,” Bruckhart said. “When he started talking, I was like ‘OK thank God this man is alive.’”

Sanford told police he couldn’t remember making a stop at Burger King. 

“He still thought it was Tuesday and I just think he needed his medication,” Bruckhart said. 

Even though he saved a missing man's life, Bruckhart said he doesn’t want to be called a hero. 

“I don't think I'm a hero,” Bruckhart said. “I think that's something any one of us would have done.” 

Eyewitness News has learned that Sanford is doing OK, thanks to the efforts Bruckhart.

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