Yonkers, New York, police officers recently grabbed a man as he jumped off of a highway bridge in an apparent suicide and were able to pull him to safety.
The incident happened in the early morning hours of Oct. 19, the Yonkers Police Department reports.
Officers responded around 3:30 a.m. to calls of a man hanging over the guardrail. A caller reported that they believed the man was going to jump off the overpass onto the southbound lanes of Interstate 87 below, the department reports on Facebook.
When officers arrived and contacted the man, Second Precinct Police Officer Michael Heath attempted to develop a rapport with him. Heath was joined in this conversation by Emergency Service Unit Police Officer Sandro Vazquez, police say.
Video taken from one of the officer’s in vehicle systems shows the officers appeared to have talked the man away from the guardrail, but he turned back and jumped.
Yonkers Police Officers Heath, Vazquez, Melendez, Brandon, Clayton, and McCown caught the man before he fell into traffic. “These Officers managed to pull the male back over the guardrail to safety, later assisting in transporting him to an area hospital for evaluation,” Yonkers PD says.
“Good, compassionate work by our Yonkers Police saved this individual and motorists from potential injury or worse,” said City of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “I applaud our skillful officers who stepped in with precision. Mental health continues to affect communities across the country, and, in Yonkers, we are fortunate to have resources and support to properly train our officers so they can assist those in need.”
Yonkers Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza said, “The Yonkers Police Department is committed to public safety and helping those in need, regardless of the situation. Our Officers did an amazing job attempting to de-escalate this incident and then resorting to taking quick action to prevent what would have certainly been serious injury to the individual, despite the risk of injury to themselves. I applaud all involved in this incident for their amazing work in saving a life.”