OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – When a citizen is in distress, Oklahoma City police officers are usually the first ones to respond to the call.
On April 1, Oklahoma City officers received a call about a man on the Britton Road bridge, just over the Broadway Extension.
When police arrived at the scene, they attempted to talk to the man. However, he swung his legs over the side of the bridge and told them to not come any closer.
“Is this somebody who’s really wanting to jump? Is this somebody who’s just seeking help? What’s going on in his life? We don’t know what’s happened in his life that has put him here today,” said Officer Cody Southerland.
In all, officers spent about two hours trying to reason with the man and get him to safety.
After two hours, officers say the man’s demeanor changed. He got on top of the barrier and started to kneel down over the highway.
“In my mind, if he drops his head below where he can’t see anything, that would be our time to go,” said MSgt. Mark Solano.
When Officer Southerland saw the man drop one hand from the barrier, he knew he had to act.
“As soon as that hand came off, then I just took off after him,” he said. “I’ll grab whatever I can grab but the goal is to grab an upper arm or shoulder and just hold on because I knew Mark was coming right behind me. So I knew I just had to keep him from falling.”
Southerland and Solano both grabbed the man and held on to the barrier to make sure he didn’t fall onto the highway.
“There’s a lot of things that go through your mind, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s just what we do,” said Solano.
After pulling the man to safety, he was taken to the hospital for mental help.