Plumber Talks Man, 24, Down After Spotting Him on Brooklyn Bridge: ‘I Was So Happy and Relieved’
“If everyone put out just a hand to help, people will grab it,” the Good Samaritan told local news of the importance of reaching out to those in need
A plumber was on his commute home from work in New York City when he intervened to save the life of a stranger in need.
Joey Hansen, 29, left work early around noon on Monday due to weather conditions, as a winter storm was blanketing Manhattan.
While riding home with a friend, Hansen was crossing the Brooklyn Bridge when he noticed a man standing on the edge of a beam, peering into the water below, he told WLNY.
“Walk back! It’s not worth your life,” Hansen can be heard yelling to the man in a video he recorded of the encounter. “You can change anything in your life — anything, bro. Anything.”
“[I was] trying to just express myself as much as I can to him, to get, you know, for him to not hear me, [but] for him to listen to me,” Hansen told the outlet.
With authorities on the scene trying to talk the unnamed 24-year-old man down, Hansen said other commuters in traffic were passing by on the 135-foot-high bridge.
“There were some drivers, but they were just looking and driving away, looking and driving away,” Hansen said. “I made sure, I made it a point, that his life is worth more than whatever his problems are.”
After his message of optimism made it through to the distressed man, he chose to return to safety, thus avoiding tragedy.
“He looked at me, so that’s how I knew he was listening to me,” Hansen told WLNY. “And it looked to me like he was crying. He turned around and just walked right off. … If everyone put out just a hand to help, people will grab it. They want help.”
An NYPD spokesperson confirmed the incident in a statement to PEOPLE, and said the man appeared “emotionally disturbed.”
The spokesperson said that with the help of police and a civilian, the man was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Speaking to CNN, Hansen said he knew he “had to step up and do something” when he stumbled upon the dangerous situation.
“I was so happy and relieved that he made the decision not to do it,” he said. “It was a cry out for help — I just hope that he gets the help he needs and goes on to be happy with himself.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.