Police officers never know what to expect on a day to day basis. Mentally, they have to be ready for literally anything.
A nerve racking life-or-death situation that could’ve easily turned tragic last night turned out okay, and it’s all thanks to Deputy James Robinson. His body camera captured the incident from August, 14, 2018.We received a call last night about a man in crisis sitting on the ledge of an overpass. As you can see in the video, Deputy Robinson started trying to bond with the man to get him to come down from where he was. Over the course of about three minutes, he repeatedly asked the man if he's OK. His saw a period in time where he could take action and he didn’t hesitate. His quick thinking of distracting the man was enough time to get him off the ledge. Medics arrived on scene, treated him and took him to a local hospital. Deputy Robinson showed the utmost compassion for the man and reassured him that he still has a lot to live for. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this man and his family.
Posted by York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, August 15, 2018
On Tuesday, a Virginia sheriff’s deputy had to employ some quick thinking after coming across a suicidal man sitting perilously on the edge of a bridge, with his feet hanging over the side to the overpass below.
The Sheriff’s Deputy, James Robinson, had received multiple 911 calls regarding a man who was sitting on the highway ledge, callers detailing his position over the U.S. Route 60 running through Yorktown, Virginia.
Deputy Robinson, from York-Poquoson, arrived at the bridge on Tuesday to find the young man dangling his legs over the ledge, looking down below him as if he was visibly contemplating his jump.
The body-cam footage shows the dangerous and potentially deadly depth the fall would have brought. There were bystanders when Robinson arrived, none who knew the man sitting on the ledge. Robinson approached the man, slowly and carefully, in order to make sure that he wouldn’t jump suddenly.
“What’s going on, man?” Robinson asked. “…Can I talk to you for a moment? You wanna tell me what’s up?”
With no response, Robinson asked the man to do him a favor.
“I won’t touch you. I won’t come near you. I won’t do anything,” Robinson added. “I just want you to talk to me for a moment so I can figure out what’s going on.”
The man didn’t respond, and Robinson continued to plead with him, asking him to get back on the bridge.
Robinson reached a point where he “knew his time was really limited and that he had to do something” Shelley Ward, public information officer for the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Ward said.
The man stayed on the ledge, and Robinson continued to talk to him until he made a “split-second decision” to act. He pretended to help another person on the road in order to position himself closer to the man, and when he did he jumped, tackling the man off the ledge.
“Let me get this guy going right quick, and I’m [gonna] see what’s going on, alright?” Robinson can be heard saying through the body cam footage, even though there is no person to be seen.
“I got him off,” Robinson communicated through his radio, as the man started to cry.
His cries can be heard turning from soft to loud sobs. Robinson can be seen patting down the man for weapons, and then asking the man “What’s wrong?”
The man replied, through his sobs, “I have nothing left.”
“You do. You have plenty left,” Robinson said back, “…You got a lot left. You got a lot in you.”
Ward told ABC News that after the video ended, Robinson continued to talk to the man, but wouldn’t reveal what was said. He was taken to a hospital following the incident to be evaluated, due to the severity of the incident.
Robinson was earnest in trying to help the man, and you can hear the honesty in his voice as he tried to comfort him. Ward also noted that Robinson was “very grateful that he could help the individual.”
Ward added that Robinson “wants him to know that he doesn’t have nothing to live for” and that “there’s somebody out there who would be glad to listen to him,” referring to the suicidal man.
“Deputy Robinson showed the utmost compassion for the man and reassured him that he still has a lot to live for. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this man and his family,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.”