NEW YORK A motorist and a New York state trooper passing by jumped into action to save an elderly man trying to jump off the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge on Sunday afternoon, and the dramatic moments were caught on camera and a radio dispatch that no police officer wants to hear:
Police received a call around 2:15 p.m. that a man was going over the railing on the Brooklyn-bound lower level, and the video shows Tuli Abraham holding a 79-year-old man who was dangling off the side of the bridge.
Thirty-year-old Tuli Abraham and his wife were driving over the bridge towards Brooklyn. They said they usually take the upper level and was following Waze directions but an accident on the upper level forced them to use the lower level. Divine assistance and a move that helped save the unidentified suicidal man that was taken to the hospital is thanks to Abraham and help from a New York State trooper, NYPD ESU officers.
Abraham was in the far right lane, mid span, when the car in front of him suddenly stopped.
The driver got out, and when Abraham asked what he was doing, the man said he was going to jump.
Abraham quickly got out and rushed towards the man. By then, the man was over the railing with his hands raised in the air, ready to jump.
Abraham was able to grab his belt in a split second decision.
Abraham spoke to GifterInGotham exclusively and recounted his heroism and the help he received from law enforcement officers:
The man fought back for about 30 seconds, but Abraham held on as his wife called 911. She then began recording the incident.
State trooper Joshua Kaye happened to be driving by and spotted Abraham holding the man. He stopped thinking it was just a car accident but quickly realized what was going on and joined in the effort.
“We were tucked over the railing, holding him, trying to pull him up,” state trooper Joshua Kaye said. “My footing wasn’t as good as I thought, but he was, he didn’t want to come back up…He already had a leg over, ran up, grabbed him just as he put a second foot over the guardrail.”
Trooper Kaye can be seen in this exclusive and additional footage obtained by GifterInGotham struggling and losing his footing which could have had the officer also go over the railing:
Off-duty officer Michael Cyetta rushed to help, then more NYPD officers with the Emergency Services Unit.
“I was able to reach down with my right hand and grab the (emotionally disturbed person) by the belt and assist pulling him over,” NYPD Officer George Bonner said.
Together, they all managed to pull the man back over the railing.
Officers told GifterIngotham at a press conference that without Abraham and a team effort the story would have had a different ending.
Officers recount their part in helping Abraham rescue the suicidal man:
“It was amazing of see everyone coming together in a split second,” Abraham said. “That would have been a much different story.”
It is a roughly 230-foot drop from the bridge, and Kaye says that usually when they spot an empty car on the bridge, the next call is sadly to the harbor unit to recover a body.
But not this time.
“This is the first time I was actually there, at the right time and place, to prevent that from getting to that point,” Kaye said. “And I’m happy about that.”