Bodycam video shows officer risking his life to save suicidal man in Atlantic City

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Saturday, October 17, 2020
Officer risks his life to save suicidal man in Atlantic City
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"I love you," one of the officers is heard saying after the man was brought to safety.

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A man who appeared to be ready to take his own life was pulled to safety thanks to the quick work of several Atlantic City police officers.

It was around 8:43 p.m. Wednesday when police were notified of a potentially suicidal man in the city. Officers eventually located him on top of the parking garage at the Claridge Hotel.

According to the department, Officer Eric Knuttel, a member of the Crisis Negotiation Team, began talking to the distraught man.

RELATED: Suicide prevention information | Get help here

After about 10 minutes, police say the man "became extremely agitated, stood up, walked towards the ledge, and yelled out."

RELATED: Atlantic City Police Officer Eric Knuttel speaks on saving suicidal man: 'I wasn't going to let go'

The bodycam video shows the officer rush into action - sprinting right toward the ledge - just as the man stood up.

Police say Knuttel grabbed the man by the leg to prevent him from jumping.

His fellow officers also rushed in to grab both the man and Knuttel from the ledge.

After the man was brought to safety, the officers could be seen surrounding him to offer support and words of compassion.

"I love you," one of the officers is heard to say. "We'll make sure everything's okay."

"I am extremely proud of the bravery and compassion shown by Officer Knuttel and the other officers for this man who was in severe emotional distress," said Interim Officer-in-Charge James Sarkos.

Also recognized for assisting in the rescue were Sergeant John Waddell and Officers Matthew Stollenwerk, Randy Rodriguez-Marte, Irwin Sanchez and Kyle Fauvell.

If you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.