A quick-thinking NYPD officer pulled a suicidal man to safety on Robert F. Kennedy Bridge this past Sunday. Watch the video above to see it all go down.
According to NBC New York, the incident began when police got a call about a man scaling a tower and climbing on top of a catwalk on RFK Bridge. The NYPD quickly dispatched Emergency Services Unit officers. In addition, NYPD Harbor units patrolled the East river 100 feet below the bridge while aviation units covered the area above. Meanwhile, all lanes on the bridge—save for one—were closed, and an airbag was inflated on the roadway below so negotiations with the man could begin.
Detective Claudio Sanchez was one of the ESU officers who responded and talked to the man.
“He was desperate,” Sanchez said of the man. “He was seeking help.”
NYPD Officer Acts Fast
At one point, the man sat down with his left leg hanging off the bridge. He then tied a string around his neck and lost consciousness. Seeing an opportunity, Sanchez bolted toward the man. He managed to pull him off the concrete ledge and into a harness.
“I immediately talked back to my rope guy and told him give me some slack on the line,” Sanchez said. “It was an instant thing. Turned around. We grabbed him.”
Sanchez and other ESU officers administered CPR to the man and took him down to the roadway.
“We had no second thought,” Sanchez said. “It had to be done. And the reaction was, ‘Let’s grab this guy and make sure we can get him down safely and whatever problems he had, they can be resolved.'”
The man was transported to an area hospital and is now in stable but serious condition.
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