27-Year-Old Apologizes For Breaking Into School, But Here’s How He Saved 24 Lives By Doing So

jay withey

Jay Withey, a down-home mechanic from New York, felt awful about breaking into a school. So bad, in fact, he left a note apologizing. But when police heard the reason behind the break-in, they praised the humble hero for doing what he needed to save lives!

24-year-old Jay Withey was only trying to help a friend who was trapped in the deadly storm that pummeled New York on December 23, 2022. Instead, he ended up stuck himself and quickly ran out of gas. He saw a man named Mike walking in the snow. He was wearing sneakers and a light jacket, so Jay told him to get in the truck.

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Jay then went door to door offering $500 to sleep on someone's floor. After 10 or more houses denying him, he went back to his truck feeling defeated and decided he should try and get some sleep.

As he was sleeping, a woman named Mary knocked on the window of his truck. Without hesitation, Jay told her to get in his truck too. The three of them tried to conserve fuel by turning the truck on and off all night.

Saving Lives During New York Blizzard

By morning, the truck was out of fuel, and they had to use the restroom. Jay knew he had to do something. He checked the GPS on his phone and noticed a nearby school. He knew there would at least be shelter, heat, bathrooms, and maybe even food.

Jay broke a window to get into the school by using some brake pads he had in his truck and brought his new friends in to shelter. The alarm was going off, but officers couldn't get to the school to check on it due to the dangerous conditions. Jay managed to turn the alarm off, but something in him couldn't leave anyone else stranded.

He went out into the raging storm again and checked car after car until he had saved 24 people and 2 dogs.

Jay Withey says that he walked until he cried and until he couldn't walk anymore. He was wet and tired.

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The group stayed in the school for 24 hours on Christmas Eve. They only ate what they needed to survive and used the computers to keep up with any developments on the storm. They left the school better than when they found it too, plugging the computers back in and cleaning up after themselves.

Jay Withey Says ‘Sorry For Breaking In’

Christmas morning, the storm had subsided, and Jay found a snow blower to get people back to their vehicles.

Jay couldn't help but feel bad about the window he broke to get in though. He felt so bad that he wrote a note explaining how he was sorry he broke the window, but he had to do it to save everyone. He signed it "Merry Christmas, Jay."

The Cheektowaga Police Department posted the note on Facebook to find out who he was. And Jay Withey is now dubbed a hero and a humble one at that.

When asked why he kept going out in the crazy storm to rescue people, he said, "Gotta help the next person in line…All it takes is one person." He stated that there is still a lot of good in the world, and he hopes that people can see that. Jay also believes everything happens for a reason too, because had any of those houses let him stay on their floors, the people he rescued may have died.

One of the people Jay rescued said, "We went into the school strangers and came out family."

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And it's all thanks to "Merry Christmas, Jay."

WATCH: Jay Withey Talks About Saving Lives During New York Blizzard

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h/t: CNN

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Cheektowaga Police Department