• Officers save man threatening to jump off bridge: 'We did what we had to do'

    By: Tom Regan

    Updated:

    ATHENS, Ga. - Police body camera video shows the gripping moments when officers worked to save a man threatening to jump off a 150-foot-high bridge.

    The video shows a man leaning from a wire along an Athens railroad trestle, threatening to step off the edge.

    But thanks to some courageous police officers, the man came down safely.

    [RAW VIDEO: Officers rescue man threatening to jump off bridge]

    For Athens-Clarke County Officer Cody Nix, a routine nighttime patrol turned to a lifesaving mission for him and his partners.

    Nix spotted the man high above leaning off the North Avenue train trestle in Athens.

    “How are we going to do this safely, get him off the trestle, get him the help he needed?" Nix said is what was running through his head as the situation unfolded.


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    “Just lean back. Stay where you are. We are going to help you,” Nix’s body camera video showed him yelling to the man.

    Officer Brendan Branning played the role of negotiator, speaking from a loudspeaker on a patrol car, working to gain the man's trust.

    “I knew the subject had recently lost a loved one,” Branning told Channel 2’s Tom Regan.

    As Branning kept the man's attention, Nix and Sgt. Von Anderson made it to the top of trestle.

    “I'm not interested in gymnastics, dude,” Anderson said talking to the man.

    Anderson took the lead in trying to calm the man and get him to step back from the edge.

    "Listen to me. The only reasons we're here is because we are worried about you. I ain’t interested in hurting you or putting you in jail. You ain't done nothing," Anderson told the man.

    Body camera video shows how the two officers inched closer to the man and at the right moment, grabbed him from the edge of the bridge and pulled him to safety.

    “'He was very erratic. He was upset, had some stuff going on. We just held onto him so he calmed down some more,” Nix told Regan.

    “At the end of the day, it’s all about safety for us and the citizens," Branning said.

    The man was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation.

    The officers said their 40 hours of crisis intervention training is a lifesaver in these situations.

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