Cops save despondent man dangling over New Jersey Turnpike
EAST BRUNSWICK — A township police officer said it was an "intense" and "emotional" two days that began Sunday when he helped save a despondent man from a New Jersey Turnpike overpass and continued Monday when he encountered a triple drowning in a backyard pool.
Patrolmen Rob Thuring and Ryan Hensperger responded to a call for a man standing on the northbound side of a Route 18 bridge about 5:20 p.m.
Hensperger told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that they spoke to the man and knew he was in a "moment of crisis."
Dashboard camera footage released by the department shows the officers trying to get a grip on the man as he stands on the other side of the bridge railing.
"Just let me go," the man says as he dangles over the busy outer lanes of the Turnpike. "Let me go! Please."
One of the officers reaches over and gets a good grip on the man. The two cops lift him over the rail headfirst onto the bridge.
"You're OK, buddy. You're OK," an officer tells him. "Look at me. Look at me. You're OK. We're going to get you some help, OK?"
It was the beginning of a stressful two days for Thuring as he was among the first officers to arrive at a house on Clearview Road Monday afternoon where three members of a family had drowned in a backyard pool, according to spokesman Frank Sutter.
Sutter said the man on the overpass was hospitalized for observation and was not charged with any crime.
If you feel you or someone you know may be in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-TALK, or the NJ Hopeline, 1-855-654-6735
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