A hero who waded into the baying Stanley Cup riot mob to pluck a viciously battered Good Samaritan to safety is set to receive a top bravery award.
Richmondite Dean Seskin had little thought for his own safety when he jumped in and pulled thugs off Robert MacKay, who moments earlier had tried to stop the mob from smashing up The Bay in Downtown Vancouver.
Seskin, who was 18 at the time of the riot in June 2011, undoubtedly saved MacKay, a Richmond chef, from serious injury or worse.
And on Jan. 9 at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver, Seskin will receive the Vancouver Police Board’s Certificate of Merit — bestowed on citizens who, in the face of actual or anticipated danger, have assisted the police in preventing a crime or made a lifesaving attempt.
“Mr. Seskin, along with 26 other Good Samaritans, will be receiving the Certificate of Merit for their various roles during the Stanley Cup riots,” said Vancouver Police Department’s media relations officer Const. Brian Montague.
As modest as they come, Seskin cringed back in 2011 when his name and the tag “hero” were mentioned in the same sentence.
And, if a report in this week’s Canadian Jewish News is anything to go by, that sense of “only doing what everyone else should do,” has not faded in Seskin’s mind.
"I didn't mind getting hit, it was no big deal, so I had no hesitation," Seskin told the News after video of his actions went viral on YouTube.
"If other people in the crowd had put down their phones and helped, it might have been different.
"I wasn't scared. But it was upsetting that everyone else just kept shooting with their phones so they could get the best Facebook videos. It's sickening that what I did is being called heroic. It should be normal."
MacKay, who is also understood to be in line for the VPD award, has since publicly thanked Seskin for saving him from the mob.