UI employee receives Merit Award

URBANA -- Each year, the University of Illinois gives out a Merit Award. This year, the department didn't think twice about who would receive it.

They honored Thomas Hurst, a UI employee who jumped in to save a woman being attacked in a parking garage. The attack happened last summer, in the B4 parking garage on campus.

Nancy Dodge was walking to her car when she was attacked by a teen. The teen dragged her to a corner and started choking her.

Hurst jumped out of his car to help. He didn't even have to fight, because the teen ran away when Hurst intervened. The teen was later caught, and pleaded guilty.

Thursday, Dodge and Hurst reunited for the first time. Reliving what happened last August was emotional for both parties.

Dodge has decided to pay it forward. She's introduced her co-workers to a self-defense class and is advocating for more surveillance cameras on campus.

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