Homer hockey players help injured homeless man
A high school hockey team was put to the test off the ice recently on the night of November 3.
The Homer High School hockey team had just wrapped up a close 1-0 loss to West Anchorage High School at the Ben Boeke Ice Arena in Anchorage.
The team stopped at the Northern Lights Fred Meyer to grab dinner after the game. Charlie Menke, the Mariners' captain, says he and three other teammates decided to go to the nearby Qdoba restaurant.
Menke says when the four were at the Benson and New Seward Highway intersection, a visibly drunk homeless man approached them.
“He had blood all over his hand,” Menke told Channel 2 over the phone. “He asked us for money for bandages, and we didn’t really have any money to give him.”
That’s when Menke and his teammates Phinny Weston, Tucker Weston, and Douglas Dean sprang into action.
The four hockey players took the homeless man to Qdoba and asked management for a first aid kit.
“When I got outside Tucker (Weston) was calling the paramedics,” said Menke. “I put on gloves and wrapped his hands with gauze.”
The paramedics and coaches arrived shortly after.
“With the amount of blood I saw, how inebriated he was, and where he was, I don’t know if he survives if the kids don’t do what they did,” said a proud Homer hockey coach Steve Nevak.
But if you ask Menke, he just says it was the right thing to do.
“The fact that he was drunk or homeless didn't really matter. He was just a person who needed help,” said Menke. “We weren't just going to leave him on the side of the street.”
Neither coaches nor players know the man’s current health, but they say he was taken to the hospital that night.
The young men experienced a victory that won’t change the number on the scoreboard, but could instead change someone’s life.