Two Oklahoma police officers talked a suicidal 21-year-old college student down from the rooftop of a parking garage which was captured on stopping video.
Stillwater Police Officers Kurt Merrill and Damian Neiswanger responded to a call at a parking garage on March 15 around 5:00 p.m., according to a statement from the Stillwater Police Department obtained by the Daily Caller.
Officers found a student sitting on the edge of a concrete pillar. The student appeared to be inching forward to the ledge as his feet dangled five stories above the ground, video shows. The officers quickly realized the student was in a mental health crisis and was thinking about jumping, according to the press release.
As the officers cautiously step toward the student, Neiswanger can be heard asking the student whether he was “hanging out” and what was doing on the pillar.
Both Merrill and Neiswanger plead with the student to talk to them about what’s going.
“You’ve got a long life left,” Neiswanger tells the student.
“There ain’t nothing that’s going on right now that we can’t sit here and talk about and figure out, just you and me. C’mon this way real slowly and we can sit here and talk for a minute,” he continued.
“I wanna try and help you out the best we can” Neiswanger can be heard saying.
The student tells the officers it’s a “mix of everything” that’s causing him problems. Neiswanger asks if he’s having friend problems and the student tells him he doesn’t have many friends.
Neiswanger assures him he also doesn’t have many friends, except for Merrill.
“Friends ain’t everything, man,” Neiswanger reassures the student, before Merrill jokes they don’t even get to hang out because they have different work schedules. (RELATED: Incredible Body Cam Video: Police Officer Pulls Wheelchair-Bound Man From Tracks As A Train Barrels Toward Him)
The student, however, begins inching forward toward the edge of the pillar before Merrill runs up behind the student and rips him down from the ledge.
“As the officers moved closer to the male to try and convince him to move back into the parking lot and speak with them, the male set his phone down and moved his body forward several inches, indicating he was getting ready to jump,” Lt. Kyle Bruce said in a statement.
Police said the student had “minor abrasions to his legs due to being pulled off the railing but was otherwise uninjured.”
The student is then handcuffed, with the officers telling him he isn’t under arrest and to “calm down,” video shows.
“I was really really f***ing scared, more scared than you were” Merrill tells the student and Neiswanger.
The student then tells the officers he was having some trouble with his studies, with both officers telling him they didn’t go to college either.
The student was sent to a mental health facility, according to Fox 23.
“These two Stillwater Police Officers’ actions saved a young man’s life and kept his family and friends from grieving the loss of a loved one,” police said in the statement.
Suicide is a leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In 2018, suicide ranked tenth in the leading cause of death, with 48,000 people dying from suicide, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention WISQARS Leading Causes of Deaths Report.