Marietta and Cobb officers intervene to save people considering suicide
May 12—Marietta police on Thursday saved a woman who was considering suicide when she scaled the outside of a fence above Interstate 75.
The rescue came two weeks after Cobb police intervened with a man who considered jumping from the edge of a four-story parking deck near the Cobb Galleria Centre.
Dramatic scenes from the two incidents were captured on their body cameras.
Early Thursday morning, Marietta police responded to a 911 call of a woman who was suicidal and on the Delk Road bridge above I-75. Body camera footage shows she was already on the outside of the bridge's protective fencing when police arrived.
Officer Austin Martin, who has been with the Marietta Police Department less than a year, was one of the first to arrive on the scene, police said.
His lack of experience did not deter him from attempting to save the woman, police said.
"He quickly and confidently approached the woman as she scaled the fence and introduced himself, trying to build a rapport," the department said in a Facebook post. "He stayed calm and spoke with her for almost a full hour, attempting to get her to climb back over the fence to safety."
In Martin's body cam footage shared by MPD, the officer can be seen approaching the woman with his hand held out around 2:56 a.m.
"Hang on, hang on!" Martin calls out. "We just want to talk."
As Martin spoke with the woman, introducing himself and asking her name and what's going on with her, Marietta and Cobb police and firefighters coordinated rescue efforts, shutting down I-75 in both directions.
According to police, the woman became angry when other officers attempted to assist Martin in rescuing her.
As the footage shows, by 3:46 a.m., Martin and another officer had grabbed ahold of the woman's hands while firefighters used a ladder truck to lower her to safety.
Police said the woman is safe and can now get the help she needs.
Marietta Police Chief Marty Ferrell praised Martin, who completed all of his training and became an independent officer with "solo status" just six weeks prior, for his life-saving efforts Thursday morning.
"I could not be prouder of the actions of Officer Martin and all those involved in saving this woman's life," Ferrell said. "To those who ask why anyone would want to become a police officer these days, this is just one example of the impact a first responder can have in someone's life."
In a similar incident, in the early hours of April 27, a Cobb police officer successfully talked a man off the ledge of a four-story parking deck in Cumberland.
Officer Justin Spires arrived on the scene around 2:30 a.m. to a man planning to attempt suicide. Body cam footage showed Spires inquiring about the man and his situation.
"I'm just tired," the man responded.
Spires introduced himself and said he wished they had met under different circumstances.
"It matters to me," Spires said at one point. "We're here to help you, we can't just leave you."
The man's desperation could be heard in a later part of the body camera footage.
"There is no hope for me," he said.
Spires assured the man he would not come near him, and for more than an hour, the officer pleaded with him to come to the squad car and talk to him, police said.
Eventually, the man stepped away from the edge and was driven by Spires to the bottom of the deck, where an ambulance awaited them.
Footage of the rescue compiled by Cobb police closed with this message:
"If you or someone you know is in crisis, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255."