A man facing financial fraud charges was stopped from jumping to his death by an NYPD Emergency Services Unit (ESU) police officer who rappelled down a Manhattan skyscraper on March 23.
The man broke a window and was sitting on the ledge of a 31-floor apartment threatening to take his own life after FBI agents showed up at his apartment near Carnegie Hall to take him into custody.
“He was wanted by another agency, and instead of going peacefully to that agency, he thought of taking his own life,” NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said at a news briefing.
During the eight-hour standoff, the man dangled one leg out of the window while police officers attempted to persuade him to surrender. Detective James Tobin of the ESU eventually rappelled down to the man’s apartment from one floor up and kicked him back inside while officers grabbed him.
“I was able to guide him into the window where my teammates were able to take him into custody,” Tobin said. “We intervened with the man in crisis, tried to speak with him, tried to talk him out of it … sometimes, these individuals comply, sometimes, they don’t, and they need a little bit more pushing, let’s say.”
The man was taken to the hospital for evaluation after being taken into custody. Requests for information were sent to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to find out the exact charges the man faced.
Maddrey praised Tobin and the other officers from the elite ESU unit for their bravery and commitment throughout the standoff.
“ESU made a decision that he would not die today,” the chief said.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell also commended the teamwork between the NYPD and its partners in ensuring public safety in the city.
“It’s another example of your NYPD working alongside our partners, putting their lives on the line every day in furtherance of public safety and the city,” Sewell said.
Eyewitnesses expressed shock and concern for the man. “I immediately thought, I just hate thinking that it could get to that point for some people, that they don’t see another alternative,” said one witness.
Video footage of the incident was also released to the public, which showed the dramatic moment Tobin climbed down the skyscraper to save the man’s life.