Body cam video of cops saving suicidal man from jumping (Opinion)
Officer Eric Knuttel.
Sgt. John Waddell.
Officer Matthew Stollenwerk.
Officer Randy Rodriguez-Marte.
Officer Kyle Fauvell.
Officer Irwin Sanchez.
These Atlantic City officers are being cited by NJ.com as saving a suicidal man’s life on Oct. 14. These men need to be recognized as the heroes they are. Not all dangers officers face are in the form of a weapon.
The most common cause of death while on duty is a traffic accident, which makes sense considering not only the huge amount of time police spend on the roads but also the speeds they must drive when there is an emergency. But situations involving a suicidal person about to jump are extremely dangerous as well. Trying to pull a desperate, grown adult from a ledge can result in the death of both of them.
Yet they do it. They did it Wednesday evening.
ACPD was contacted by Pleasantville police and told there could be a despondent man on a bridge in their area, police said. Family then alerted police with a photograph showing the man was actually on the top deck of the Claridge parking structure, police said.
Officer Knuttel, who is part of the department's crisis negotiation team, found the man about 9:10 p.m. According to authorities, he tried to talk the man down for about 10 minutes, when the guy grew very agitated and Knuttel feared jumping was imminent. This bodycam video shows him race to the ledge to grab the man by the legs and you can hear the officer screaming, “Pull me back! Pull me back!” — presumably to fellow officers.
The tension is palpable as you see a scramble of bodies and limbs. Then you see the man safely pulled away from the ledge. You hear the officers telling the distraught man that they are there for him.
Then you hear an officer saying something I want everyone to remember the next time you’re tempted to judge all police officers by the rogue actions of a few.
The man is asking to be let go and an officer says, “I can’t because I love you. Even though I don’t know you I love you.”
This is the true spirit of most police officers. They don’t know us but they are there for us. Willing to risk their lives for us. Please remember this video the next time some other officer does something wrong. Those rogue officers do not represent all law enforcement.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.