Early Sunday morning, a man climbed onto the cables of the Williamsburg Bridge and began making his way to the top of the vertiginous span—possibly with the intent of jumping off.
Luckily, NYPD Emergency Service Units were nearby, and after they got the call of an emotionally disturbed person threatening to jump from the bridge, they suited up and climbed the cables to talk him down.
After a standoff lasting more than an hour, a police officer was able to gain the man’s trust while high atop the bridge, convincing the man that he would be able to get help, and that nothing in his life was worth committing suicide over.
Eventually, the shirtless man allowed police to attach a security harness and bring him down safely. Police said the man was stopped from reaching the top of the bridge by a security gate.
NYPD Commissioner O’Neill tweeted out pictures and dramatic aerial video from the incident, congratulating the special operations officers for saving the man’s life:
Professionalism and expert tactics on display again this morning as @NYPDSpecialops removes a man from the cables of the Williamsburg Bridge. Just another example of the many ways the men & women of @NYPDnews keep New Yorkers, in every neighborhood, safe each day. pic.twitter.com/hHMHYpby7d
— Commissioner O’Neill (@NYPDONeill) October 1, 2018
The man, who has not been identified by police, was taken to Bellvue Hospital for evaluation following the incident.
Luckily, the morning ended without tragedy. But while high drama played out above the East River, weekend riders and drivers found themselves tangled in a snarl of traffic as police shut down both car and subway service on the bridge during the 75-minute standoff.
Service Update: There is no J and M train service between Delancey St-Essex St and Marcy Av in either direction.
Some Broad St-bound J trains are ending at Broadway Junction.
For service between Manhattan and Brooklyn, take the A, C or L train.
— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) September 30, 2018
The incident wasn’t the only one involving a possible jumper from a Brooklyn bridge this weekend: police recovered a reportedly suicidal woman from Staten Island from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on Saturday, as well.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.