NCNG Citizen-Soldier: The Right Place at the Right Time


Story and photo by Sgt. Leticia Samuels, Public Affairs Office, North Carolina National Guard

The Durham county sheriff’s office and the North Carolina National Guard both have important roles in public safety within the state of North Carolina. What they share in this case, is Pfc. David Earp, B Company, 1st Battalion, 120th Infantry Regiment who plays dual roles as an infantryman and a sheriff deputy.

Earp is a Durham native and five year veteran for the Sheriff’s office in Durham who rescued two young female children from being drowned by their father, the accused, the night of Sept 20, 2015, at the Audubon Lake apartments.

“I am a school resource officer, assigned to Jordan high school,” said Earp. “It’s something I have wanted to do since I was a small kid, I have always been one to try to help people.”

Sylvia Scott, Audubon Lake apartment property manager, notified Earp who was off duty at the time about the situation occurring nearby. Scott already called 911 but realized Earp was nearby.

“I put my clothes on, a sheriff shirt, grabbed my gun, badge, radio and flashlight,” said Earp. “I got in my car and went down to the location.”

Upon arrival to the lake, cries were heard, and Earp discovered the older of the two children above water crying and the younger child was submerged completely under water.

“I thought to myself what in the world is going on here,” said Earp. “I shined my flashlight to the area, dropped some of my equipment, ran out there and grabbed both of them.”

He quickly scooped up both children out of the lake and guided them to dry land where he directed Scott and her son to stay with the older daughter, not wanting her to witness her younger sister who was unconscious at the time.

“I took the other girl away so she wouldn’t have to see her sister, I took her to the gazebo,” said Earp. He then told Scott, “make sure she is breathing and talk to her, try to keep her calm.”

While Scott kept the older daughter calm, Earp and other responding officers began CPR on the younger child and took turns performing CPR for about 15 minutes until emergency responders and medical personnel arrived.

“It made me feel really good and it made me realize how blessed I am to be in the right spot at the right time, to get there within a few moments and save them,” said Earp.

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