Caught on video: Newark police rescue man threatening to take his own life

Posted: Updated:

Newark police officers made a dramatic rescue Monday night and it was all captured on a police officer’s body camera.

Newark police were called to Riverfront Park for reports of a man threatening to take his own life by jumping from a ledge into the Passaic River below. Two arriving officers found the man with one leg over the edge.

“I’m going to stay right here,” officer Jocelyn Allen is heard saying on the video.

The man explained that he wasn’t being allowed to see his daughters. Allen says that she found that talking about family was her way of keeping the man calm.

“Can you talk to me about it instead of doing that?” Allen asked. “Your daughters need you.”

“I just wanted him to keep trusting me that I was going to help him,” Allen says, while recalling the incident. “I felt the closer I got, I could grab him.”

Allen is a rookie officer. Her training officer Kerwin Lovo was at her side. He says that she was handling the situation well.

On the video, as both officers moved closer to the man, he is heard saying, “I hear somebody down underneath. Please tell them to back down.”

This is the moment where police would find their opening to pull him to safety.

Police say that the key to saving the man’s life was a distraction. As officers were talking to the man on the ledge, other officers started to surround him from below, along the river’s edge. As the many noticed the officers down below, police were able to grab him.

The man was put into an ambulance after he was rescued. But before he left, he asked for a moment with Allen.

“He called for me to come talk to him and he thanked me,” Allen says. “He said I really cared about him. He could see I didn’t want him to die.”

Allen and Lovo say that they followed their training. They say that once you show people respect and treat those in need like they are family, you will earn their trust.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline was set up to provide 24/7 support for the public. Anyone who may be in crisis should call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

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