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#Cop Saves a Man From #Suicide, Somehow Igniting Serious Debate on Social Media

 

Claire Bernish
April 27, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) Riverdale, NJ — In a swift and valiant move, a New Jersey police officer rushed to tackle a man who attempted to end his life by jumping from a highway overpass bridge on Monday.

Sgt. Greg Bogert, an 18-year veteran of the Riverdale Police Department, responded to  multiple 911 calls concerning a man in apparent distress who had been wandering in and out of traffic on I-287. “When I first got the call at about 11:30 Monday morning, it was about a man walking back and forth, looking at the edge of the bridge and jumping in front of vehicles,” Bogert explained, according to NorthJersey.com.

“I could kind of tell he was trying to commit suicide,” Bogert continued. “I didn’t want to spook him, so I cracked the door to my car open and started to get out slowly.”

Though Bogert said he attempted to verbally persuade the distraught man not to jump, telling him, “Don’t do it, don’t do it,” the unidentified man ignored the pleas — and as can be seen on dashcam footage released by the department, suddenly took drastic measures.

Without warning, the man sprinted toward the edge barricade with the obvious intent to jump, “and I took off after him,” Bogert said. “He had one leg up and over, and he was trying to get the other leg up when I grabbed him.” Bogert’s lightning reaction saved the man from a split-second decision.

Lt. James MacIntosh noted in a press release cited by NorthJersey.com that before his attempt to jump over the edge, the man had yelled, “My family is dead. I just want to die.”

After Bogert eventually calmed the man down enough to load him into an ambulance, he was taken to a hospital for evaluation and observation.

Though the majority of discussions surrounding Bogert’s move commended his actions, there has been some debate about the unidentified man’s right to do with his life — and death — as he saw fit. And perhaps Bogert interfered with his right to bodily liberty, not just in preventing the man’s suicide, but in the mandated psychiatric evaluation that will restrict his freedom even further.

While this critique certainly bears consideration, as one commenter keenly noted, the hospital evaluation — and Bogert’s speedy intervention — could ostensibly act as a stay for him to consider if suicide is, indeed, the route he truly wishes to take. Perhaps if he had thoroughly considered and acted to take his own life while in his own home — and not in a public setting in such a drastic manner — outrage over Bogert’s move might be more clear-cut.

Bogert claimed police did learn the man’s family was unharmed, despite what he had said before attempting the jump.

In the end, Bogert’s expeditious tackle — whether you feel it was heroic or otherwise — gave a distraught man another chance to consider an abrupt and likely hastily made decision. For once, at least, the debate involves a cop preserving — rather than ending — another human being’s life. Perhaps, that in itself should be worth celebrating.


This article (Cop Saves a Man From Suicide, Somehow Igniting Serious Debate on Social Media) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

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