A 39 year old man tried to preempt the rapture this morning and throw himself from the Williamsburg bridge. After nearly three hours of talks, the NYPD made a grab and hoisted the man to safety.
The man attempted to jump from the Brooklyn side of the bridge, aiming himself over the pavement, where police units below had positioned stunt bags to cushion a potential fall. A full account from photographer and local tipster, Drew Catlin, is included below the photos.
For additional photos, visit Drew Catlin’s Facebook photo album.
Drew Catlin’s Account.
“There was a moment early on in the whole event where one of the NYPD tethered to the bridge briefly patted the guy on the back, with his arm going pretty much all the way around the guy. A foreshadowing of their eventual rescue technique. It seemed like they were setting him up for an eventual grab. At the end of the negotiations the cops inched in, gradually and carefully from either side. When they first put both their arms around him he seemed initially docile. Something snapped in him, though, rather quickly and he began to squirm with surprising vigor, getting himself to the point where it appeared they wouldn’t be able to hold him. Somehow they managed to keep a tight enough grip to subdue him but not until after my heart was pounding and my hands were shaking and I was afraid I was going to see someone plunge to their death.
The NYPD had an inflatable stunt cushion underneath him. The jumper kept checking where it was and positioning himself over the pavement instead. The NYPD diligently moved the pad underneath him. When the cops had their arms around him he fought for what seemed like forever but was really mot more than a minute, maybe 2. Then he seemed to become subdued enough for the NYPD to work him inside without much further resistance. Based on the size of the crowd and their attentiveness I expected to hear some applause and cheers but it was very silent when it was all over.”