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Charleston VA hospital police officer credited with saving family during Irma flooding

DAREYL STARK (WCIV)

Lieutenant Dareyl Stark believes he works for more than just a police agency at the Ralph H Johnson VA Medical Center.

"We're a community based organization. We're not just focused on the VA facility itself," Lt. Stark said.

While he was patroling the parking lot for the veterans affairs police service on Monday, Lt. Stark watched the weather worsen in downtown Charleston.

"We actually had water all the way up to the sign here where it says main entrance. Gives you an idea of the water level," he explained as he pointed to the sign on Bee Street.

As the street flooded, the supervisor for the Department of Veterans Affairs noticed a woman escape an SUV as it floated.

"Seen the passenger get the window down and crawl out of the vehicle. And then the vehicle started going down the street with the current. And she kind of hollered at me and said her husband and child were in the vehicle,"

Photos show the waist deep water he faced to save the family.

"Was able to get the child handed through the driver's side of the vehicle and get it back to the mother that was now on dry land. And then had the father crawl through the window. And then was able to get him to grab a hold of my shoulders and get him over to the other side of the parking lot on dry land," he said.

Lt. Stark credits other officers who helped, and people from the nearby Comfort Inn.

"Civilians came out. Had several of them come out and also assisted. So it was a community effort," Lt. Stark said.

A storm story from an officer who says he was just doing his job.

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