Cops are trained to spot the kind of peculiar behavior that precedes a reckless, destructive act. There was something not quite right about the 23-year-old man standing near the wall to the freeway on-ramp in Boynton Beach. From the police department's news release:
Officers Daniel Griswold and Anthony Magnanti first noticed the man sitting next to a suitcase on the sidewalk of the I-95 overpass at Gateway Boulevard. The man was writing in a notebook. Sensing that something wasn't right, they made a u-turn and drove back around to check on him. By this time, the man had moved to the southbound exit ramp wall, his feet dangling over the ledge. The man looked over at the officers and then quickly looked away.
Concerned that he was going to jump, Officer Griswold drove up to the man and got off his motorcycle. The man then inched forward on the ledge, closer to the edge. That's when Officer Magnanti, a member of the department's Crisis Intervention Team, approached from behind and grabbed him.
The man then grabbed onto the railing and tried to pull himself and Officer Magnanti over the ledge. Officer Griswold then grabbed hold of both of them, pulling them onto the pavement. The man was then taken into custody.
The officers found a suicide note, which he had just finished writing, in his pants pocket. He was taken to a mental health facility under the state's Baker Act.
"Were it not for the concern of these officers, this man very well could have succeeded in ending his life," Police Chief G. Matthew Immler said. "He will now be able to get the help he obviously needs. Their actions were heroic."