A Connecticut police officer’s body camera captured the dramatic moment he stopped an agitated older man from jumping off a 6th-floor balcony last week.
Staff at Whitney Center, a senior living community in Hamden, called police on Friday when a male resident became “combative” with staff, police spokesman Capt. Ronald Smith said in a statement released Tuesday.
Officer Justin Martin responded.
Martin met with staff members and the resident on the third floor when the man wandered off. Martin heard him heading up a stairwell and followed after him to the sixth floor where Martin saw him heading onto an outdoor terrace.
Martin ran and yelled to stop him. Just as the man threw himself head-first over the railing Martin reached him, grabbed him and pulled him to safety.
The police department released the video of the save on its Facebook page Tuesday.
Police chief Thomas Wydra told the New Haven Register that Martin’s actions were “heroic.”
“When you think about it, Officer Martin could have gone over the ledge with the man — the man was literally going over the edge of the roof — and because Officer Martin is a big, strong, young man, he was able to pull the man back on the balcony,” Wydra said.
“He really risked his life. When you watch the recording, he could have easily gone over the ledge with the resident by grabbing him that way.”
The man, who police said was not injured, was taken to the hospital for evaluation.
“I was able to grab his foot and he had a belt on so I was able to grab the belt. I got both hands on his waist and I was able to pull him up after that,” Martin said at a press conference this week, according to NBC Connecticut.
“I was genuinely there to help. You just go with it and try to do everything you can.”