The 33-year-old officer saved the man from jumping off a building and couldn’t help saying these words to him
An official of police in Atlantic City, New Jersey , is being hailed as a hero for preventing a man suicidal jump from the top of a casino parking lot and then ended by saying, “I love you”.
Dramatic police body camera footage shows Officer Eric Knuttel, a five-year veteran, leading the distraught man off the ledge of the 13-story Claridge parking lot Wednesday night.
The 33-year-old officer spoke exclusively to CBS3. “You could hear in his voice that he was distraught and hurt,” Knuttel said.
According to Atlantic City police, the Pleasantville Police Department approached them and told them that a suicidal man was in Atlantic City and was threatening to jump off the bridge.
Knuttel, a member of the department’s Crisis Negotiation Team, located the distraught man sitting on a ledge at the top of the garage and began hiring him to convince him.
We had a pretty long conversation. We were going to try to build a good relationship with him, so he knew someone cared and he knew someone was there for him and not just him against the world, Knuttel said.
Police say 10 minutes pass while the man, who had been drinking, talks to a person on FaceTime. Knuttel, a trained crisis negotiator, worries when the man gets angry.
I saw him stand up and look sideways, he lowered his head and started walking. He knew he had to do something, Knuttel said.
It was then that Knuttel rushed toward him, grabbing the man’s legs to keep him immobile as other responding officers yanked the two back off the ledge.
They all go to the ground where the officers try to comfort the man while Knuttel rubs his back and their gazes meet. Knuttel said to the man, “I love you.”