Doctor chases assailants, provides care after mugging.
By Patricia Opong-Brown, Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
/ Published August 24, 2007
Andrews AFB, M.D. -- An Andrews Air Force Major helped an elderly woman who was injured in a robbery in broad daylight at a McDonalds on Gallant Fox Lane in Bowie, MD June 26.
On the June afternoon, Major (Dr.) Robert W. Craig-Gray, currently assigned to the 79th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, had just pulled into the parking lot of the McDonald's to get something to eat after a day of flying. In disbelief, Maj. Craig-Gray saw a young male walking towards the 74-year-old woman very fast. "I first thought wow, that guy is in a hurry and it looked like he was going to run her over by accident or on purpose," said the flight surgeon. He really did not know what was going on until he saw the victim fall and the robber drag the woman by her purse.
Seeing this, Maj. Craig-Gray expressed that he "got mad because this shouldn't happen to anybody especially an elderly lady." He was also distressed because his mom is almost the same age as the victim. The doctor didn't just get mad, he took action. He tried to block the driver and the getaway car from fleeing the scene but the driver sped away. Since they got way, the major explains that "he followed the suspects' car for about a half a block and wrote down the license plate number, called 911 for assistance and returned to the scene of the incident."
When he returned to the parking lot, he saw that the elderly lady "was bleeding profusely from her scalp." Using his training and professional experience, he explained to the group of people that were assisting the victim that he was a military physician and instantly began assessing her for injuries. "I immediately put pressure on her bleeding scalp; assessed her for any neck and spin injuries, did a quick mental status exam and kept her calm and physiologically stable until EMS and police arrived about 10 minutes later," described the flight surgeon.
The entire incident made Dr. Craig-Gray a bit nervous but reacting to help without hesitation is second nature. A week prior to the incident, the Good Samaritan had just completed Advanced Trauma Life Support course at the US Uniformed Health Services University in Bethesda, MD. "The course focused on immediate trauma management for patients," he said.
Major (Dr.) Robert W. Craig-Gray currently serves as a flight surgeon for the 79th Aeromedical Staging Flight and is the Medical Director and Liaison Officer for the 79th Aerospace Medicine Squadron. A proud native of Washington D.C., Dr. Craig-Gray grew up in Northwest DC near Catholic University. He is a graduate of DeMatha Catholic High School, and received his Doctor of Medicine from the University Of Louisville School Of Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Craig-Gray received his graduate medical training at Georgetown University, and completed his residency training in Family Medicine at Malcolm Grow Medical Center here in 2003.