NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Newark police officers and community members sprang into action Tuesday to get a man attempting suicide to safety.
The department is crediting de-escalation training for saving his life.READ MORE: Times Square Shooting Suspect Farrakhan Muhammad Taken Into Custody Near Jacksonville, Florida
The rescue was caught on video.
“It ain’t easy. I know it ain’t easy,” Officer Darrell Fields told the man.
As CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reports, Newark police spoke from the heart to the distraught man standing on the ledge, ready to take his own life.
“I’m not gonna act like I know what’s going on in your life. I don’t. We all got everyday struggles man,” Fields told the man.
He and Officer Abdul Aziz Yasin were responding to the 911 call Tuesday morning, rushing to the Route 78 overpass at West Runyon Street.
“Hoping that we would get there in time. To our surprise, it was actually a male that we had encountered prior to the incident,” Yasin said. “Us arriving there and him recognizing us, it helped.”
The previous encounter was over a non-violent domestic situation.
Police say the man was distraught over a child custody issue.
“What you’re thinking about right now, your son is gonna have to deal with that every day of his life, every day without you. You have to understand that,” Fields said.READ MORE: Experts Expect Gas Prices To Reach Highs Not Seen Since 2014, But Not Necessarily Caused By Colonial Pipeline Shutdown
“I tried to be there, bro,” the man said.
“I know, but you still got time to be there,” Fields said.
Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara says this is de-escalation training in action.
“To help slow a situation down, help a person kind of rationally think through things and basically resolve situations safely, that’s ultimately the goal,” he said.
“I’m from Newark, so it’s like I can relate to them. I talk to them as if they’re my family members. That could have easily been a brother of mine,” Yasin said.
Sgt. Miguel Silva also responded to the scene, commending his fellow officers’ compassion.
“They take the job personally, so for that, I thank them all every day for what they do,” he said.
Two witnesses and the man’s father also encouraged him not to jump and pulled him to safety.
“It’s gonna be alright. You have people here who care about you. Remember that,” one person told him.
The man was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. We’re told the city has mental health resources like social workers on staff that will follow up with the man to make sure he’s OK.MORE NEWS: Israel Vows To Increase Gaza Strikes Until There Is 'Total, Long-Term Quiet' Amid Barrage Of Palestinian Rocket Fire
The phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255. For more information, visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.