A harrowing situation was saved from turning deadly when a police officer displayed patience and kindness towards a suicidal man threatening to jump off a bridge.
The incident occurred in Phoenix, Arizona and was captured by officer Aaron Little’s body camera. On the video we see a man clinging to the wrong side of a fence on an overpass above a busy highway, apparently threatening to jump. Little speaks to him in a relaxed tone, offering him a hug if he’ll come to safety.
“Just come up here buddy. I’ll hug you man, I don’t care … I will give you a hug.”
His tone patient, Little keeps the bridge clear of other officers and calms the man down until he eventually climbs back over the fence and gets that hug, sobbing.
It’s a master class in empathy from Little, who clearly connected with the man and made him realize that there was another option.
In the early evening of Thursday, March 28, 2019, a 26-year-old male climbed the protective railing of a pedestrian bridge that spans the Price Freeway with the intent to jump. Officer A. Little arrived at the bridge and, after developing a rapport with the male, Officer Little was able to convince him to climb off the railing and back to the safety of the bridge.While this incident is extraordinary, the compassion Officer Little showed is a common occurrence with the men & women of the Chandler Police Department.Officer Little’s body worn camera captured their interaction:
Posted by Chandler Police Department on Wednesday, June 12, 2019
The video ends with the two hugging and then walking off the bridge together with Little asking the near-jumper “What’s going on?” like a concerned dad.