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July 18, 2019

Cops rescue man threatening to jump off Williamsburg Bridge

September 30, 2018
A man climbing up the cables of the Williamsburg Bridge and threatening to jump on Sunday was convinced to come down by NYPD ESU Officers who fitted him with a safety harness and removed him from the span. (Theodore Parisienne for New York Daily News)

Two people who almost jumped to their deaths over the weekend now have a second chance at life — thanks to a couple of hero cops who pulled them to safety.

MTA Bridge and Tunnel Officer James Pokruss was on the bridge heading towards Staten Island in his patrol car on Saturday when he spotted a woman getting out of a dark blue SUV near the edge of the bridge around 7 p.m.

“My first thought was that it was just a disabled vehicle,” Pokruss told the Daily News Sunday. “But then she started walking towards the front of the vehicle, sort of away from me, which immediately caused alarms to go off.”

The 57-year-old woman already had one foot over the railing when Pokruss got out of his car and urged her to get down.

“I said, ‘No, no, no, don’t do that,’” the six-year MTA veteran recalled. “She was straddling the guardrail, ready to fall off, when I managed to grab her just in time.”

The woman, who lives on Staten Island, didn’t say a word as Pokruss soothed her. “I said, ‘You’ll be okay, you’ll be okay,’ and just held her.”

She remained dazed as medics took her to Richmond University Medical Center to be treated. Authorities are investigating whether she was on drugs, sources said.

The woman seemed determined to take the plunge, Pokruss said, and would’ve done so had the MTA cop not showed up in time.

“It’s a shame, you know. Suicide impacts not only the person but the loved ones at home. It’s a horrible thing.”

Thanks to him, the woman will be celebrating her 58th birthday next week, sources say — but Pokruss doesn’t consider himself a hero.

“I did want any officer would’ve done in my situation, or any decent human being coming up on a person in distress.”

On Sunday morning, several NYPD Emergency Service Unit detectives rescued a distressed man who threatened to jump off the Williamsburg Bridge.

Detective Christopher Williams was out patrolling the streets with his partner, Detective Thomas Longa, when they got a call around 9:15 a.m. about an emotionally disturbed person on the rails.

“As we were coming up the FDR Drive, my partner, Det. Longa, noticed an individual on the cables,” Williams said. “We came to the foot of the Manhattan side of the bridge, grabbed our equipment and made our way up the walkway.”

Longa climbed up the cables to meet the man, who was “extremely emotionally distraught.”

“I tried to establish a rapport with him, and I also mentioned that nothing that’s going on in his life would be worth ending it for,” he recalled.

After a tense 75-minute standoff, rescue workers were able to put a safety harness around the jumper and bring him down to safety.

“Once we got him a little lower and he was able to recognize he was actually going to get some help, he was very thankful,” Longa, a 22-year veteran of the NYPD, said.

Medics took the man to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

“Outstanding work,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill tweeted Sunday. “Every day, #NYPD cops perform amazing acts of bravery and heroism, all in the name of keeping NYers safe.”

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