RIVERDALE, N.J. -- Dramatic video captured the moments when a New Jersey police officer jumped into action to stop a man attempting suicide Monday.
Riverdale Police Sergeant Greg Bogert responded to reports of a man walking in and out of traffic on I-287. He arrived on scene to find the man upset and crying, heading towards the edge of an overpass.
"I got about half way up there, and phone calls started coming in that he was running into traffic," Bogert said. "I pull up, and I start to open up the door...The window's open, and I'm trying to talk to him, because I didn't want him to panic and take off on me."
From there, things quickly escalate. Bogert was barely out of his cruiser when the man made a run for it, presumably to jump.
"As I was opening the door, he focused on the edge of the bridge," Bogert said. "I just started screaming, 'Don't do it, don't do it,' and just ran as fast as I could to stop him from jumping."
Bogert was able to get to the man just in time, holding him on the ground until he could be taken into custody and brought to the hospital. No one was hurt.
"You don't have time to think about it," he said. "Things happen so fast, you just have to react."
After his duty in the Air Force, Bogert came home to Riverdale, where he's served 18 years so far on the police force. It is a tight-knit group, with most officers mentored by one of the town's former police chiefs, trained to protect and serve.
And it's not the first time Bogert has saved a life. He received a commendation in 2010 for resuscitating a child who stopped breathing, and he also received a gallantry bar a year later when he and fellow officers captured a murder suspect.
In this instance, his fellow officers decorated the door to his locker.
"That's the way we handle it, through humor," Bogert said. "And we back each other up."
Police eventually discovered the man was distraught over family issues, and they said he intended to take his life.
New Jersey police sergeant who stopped suicide speaks out
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