Newark Police Help Save Man Attempting Suicide, Department Credits De-Escalation Training

Newark police officers and community members came together Tuesday, using their hearts and their words to get a man attempting suicide to safety. The department is crediting de-escalation training for saving his life; CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reports.

Video Transcript

- Newark police officers and community members come together using their hearts and their words to get a man from attempting suicide to safety.

- The department crediting de-escalation training for saving his life. CBS 2's Jenna DeAngelis has the video.

DARRELL FIELDS: It ain't easy. I know it ain't easy.

JENNA DEANGELIS: Newark police speaking from the heart to a distraught man standing on the ledge ready to take his own life.

DARRELL FIELDS: I'm not going to act like I know what's going on in your life. I don't. We all got everyday struggles, man.

JENNA DEANGELIS: Speaking is officer Darrell Fields. He and officer Abdul Aziz Yasin were responding to the 911 call Monday morning, rushing to the Route 78 overpass at West Runyon Street.

ABDUL AZIZ YASIN: Hoping that we would get there in time. You know, to our surprise, it was actually a man that we had encountered prior to the incident. Us arriving there and him, you know, recognizing us, it helped.

JENNA DEANGELIS: The previous encounter over a nonviolent domestic situation. Police say the man was distraught over a child custody issue.

DARRELL FIELDS: What you're thinking about right about now, your son is going to have to deal with that every day of his life. Every day without you. You have to understand that.

- I tried to be there.

DARRELL FIELDS: I know. But you still got time to be there.

JENNA DEANGELIS: Public safety director Brian O'Hara says this is de-escalation training in action.

BRIAN O'HARA: To help slow a situation down, help a person kind of rationally think through things, and basically you resolve situations safely. That's ultimately the goal.

ABDUL AZIZ YASIN: I'm from Newark. So it was like I could relate to them, I talk to them as if they are my family members. You know, that could have easily been a brother of mine.

JENNA DEANGELIS: Sergeant Miguel Silva also responded to the scene, commending his fellow officers' compassion.

MIGUEL SILVA: They need to take the job personally. So for that, I thank them all every day for what they do.

JENNA DEANGELIS: Two witnesses and the man's father also encouraged him not to jump, and pulled him to safety.

- He's gonna be all right. You've got people there that care about you, man. Remember that.

JENNA DEANGELIS: The man was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. We're told the city has mental health resources, like social workers, on staff that will follow up with the man to make sure he's OK. In Newark, New Jersey, Jenna DeAngelis, CBS 2 News.

- That's outstanding work.

- That's tough to watch. But boy, just to see it all-- that ending, saving that man's life.

- So well done. Wow.