Dramatic body-camera footage recently released by the New York Police Department (NYPD) captured a remarkable act of compassion as two officers successfully rescued a suicidal man teetering on the edge of a bridge in New York City.
The video, which went viral on social media, led to both police officers being hailed as heroes for their courageous efforts.
Throughout a 40-minute ordeal, Officer Eleodoro Mata and his partner, Officer Carl Fayette, engaged in a life-saving conversation with a man undergoing a mental health crisis, much of which was captured on bodycam video.
“We’re here for you,” Officer Mata can be heard saying, reassuring the man. “Everybody’s here for you. We’re gonna help you.”
Officer Fayette offered the man a deeply personal connection, admitting he had been in a similar situation himself.
“I’ve been in your shoes, man,” he said. “It’s not worth it … there are solutions,” he said.
The officers’ words, along with their unwavering presence, provided much-needed hope to the man on the brink of despair.
Fayette repeatedly told the man: “Life is beautiful, brother. You are beautiful, brother — please don’t give up on me.”
Eventually, emergency services unit (ESU) officers were able to bring the man back from the brink.
The onlookers, who had gathered near the scene, cheered as the officers, wearing safety harnesses, managed to reach the man and bring him to safety.
Following the successful rescue, Officer Fayette was seen breaking down in tears. Such encounters often take a significant emotional toll on officers.
“Police officers frequently interact with people having the worst day of their lives,” the NYPD said in a statement shared to X. “Two weeks ago, Officers Fayette & Mata talked to a distraught man in crisis for nearly 40 minutes until ESU officers rescued him.”
The two officers, who are part of the NYPD’s 26th Precinct, were praised by their precinct commander for their extraordinary efforts in saving the man from the side of the bridge.
“They spoke to the man with genuine empathy to let him know they cared and that help was available, & with the assistance of our @NYPDSpecialops, they got him help,” the commander noted.
The three-minute video that captured the rescue garnered immense attention on social media, with many individuals hailing Officers Fayette and Mata as heroes for their patient and compassionate response.
The man in crisis was safely brought back to stable ground by the NYPD’s Special Operations team, responsible for city-wide crisis outreach and support.