Intense bodycam footage captured the moment Yonkers cops swiftly intervened to save a distraught man who was hanging off a thruway overpass above speeding traffic.
The gripping video, shared on Facebook by the Yonkers Police Department, shows a team of the city’s finest working tirelessly to coax the unidentified man away from the guardrail near Yonkers Raceway at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Thursday.
The man, dressed in sandals, dark pants, and a hoodie, can be seen leaning perilously on the railing above Interstate 87.
Watch officers carefully approach suicidal jumper
Officers Michael Heath and Sandro Vazquez make every effort to establish a connection with him, attempting to reason with him and assure his safety.
“I’m here to help,” Vazquez Vazquez with the man, followed by Heath offering further reassurance, “Let’s talk about whatever’s going on, then we’ll leave. You understand?”
“But we can’t leave while you’re here, standing next to the railing,” he coaxes. “It’s a dangerous situation. That’s why we’re here.”
Despite their efforts to connect with him, the man unexpectedly jump over the railing, just as Heath extended a helping hand, endangering himself with vehicles passing beneath.
With cat like reflexes, the officers grab the man in a split second, preventing him from plummeting to the pavement below, while his feet dangle in mid-air. They then hoist him over the railing back to safety.
Police commended for saving suicidal jumper
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano commended the city’s police department for their compassionate and effective response, ensuring the safety of both the individual in distress and motorists passing below.
“I applaud our skillful officers who stepped in with precision,” Spano said in a statement about the incident.
“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.”
First Deputy Chief Joseph Monaco told News 12 that “The officers did textbook work with minimal crisis negotiation training.”
Cops explain how they handled suicidal jumper
“You got to humanize the situation and realize this is someone having a bad day,” Heath said about his approach to handling the jumper.
“Where did you come from, what brought you to this situation right now and what can we do to not escalate this in a negative manner,” he noted.
Vasquez thought he could get comfort the man with human touch. “It’s one of those things where if I can reach out to him and have him take my hand, he may feel comfortable to go across the street,” he remarked.
At present, Yonkers police have not disclosed the identity of the man or shared any details regarding his condition following the incident.