NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man about to jump off the Verrazzano Bridge was grabbed by some men who just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
The rescue was caught on cellphone video. On Monday, police gave CBS2’s Alice Gainer more details.
An off-duty state trooper on his way in to work and another officer also on his way in to work were able to grab the man with the assistance of a Good Samaritan. It took a lot of teamwork to bring the struggling man to safety.
The video shows a trooper and another man desperately holding on to someone dangling over the side of the bridge. The trooper waves over other officers and finally the man is pulled to safety.
“He didn’t want to come back up,” Trooper Joshua Kaye said.
Kaye was on his way in to the city when he spotted what he thought was a broken-down car.
“Stopped in the right lane, so I turned on my lights to try and go over and assist the motorist and that’s when I watched the motorist get out of the car and he just kind of started going right for the guard rail on the side of the bridge,” Kaye said. “That’s when I realized it was not what I thought it to be at first.”
Trooper Kaye jumped out and ran into action.
“He already had a leg over. I ran up, grabbed him just as he put his second leg over the guard rail,” Kaye said.
At that point he said the Good Samaritan ran over and helped him hold the man. Another officer on his way in also stopped.
“I just saw him get out and run towards the edge and I immediately knew what that was as soon as that happened,” NYPD Officer Michael Syetta said.
Then they heard the sirens of the Emergency Services Unit approaching.
“I was able to reach down with my right hand and grab hold of the emotionally disturbed person’s belt and pants,” ESU Det. George Bonner said. “He had jeans on and was able to help assist, pull him over the rail.
“It seemed like he was relieved. Literally, he’s getting a second chance at life so he seemed relieved,” Bonner added.
It’s a second chance many don’t often get.
“I’ll be honest — usually when we come across the car on a bridge it’s an empty car and we’re looking over the edge,” Kaye said.
The officers said adding to the struggle was the windy and rainy weather. They said they were 224 feet above the water and the railing is about chest high.
The man that was rescued was taken to the hospital.