Sgt. William Hart

Mike Smeltz/WCBS880

Hero Cop Saves 13-Year-Old From Jumping Off Manhattan Bridge

January 16, 2019 - 6:23 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A NYPD sergeant saved the life of a young teenager standing on the edge of the Manhattan Bridge.

Sgt. William Hart was doing a survey on the Manhattan Bridge at around 5 p.m. Tuesday when some people flagged him down for assistance. When he approached, he saw a 13-year-old trying to go over the railing on the pedestrian path.

“He was looking straight down, it had to be maybe close to 100 feet,” Hart told WCBS 880.

The former detective with the NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit immediately sprang into action, climbing up onto the fence near the edge of the bridge to bring the teen back to safety.

“I try to engage him in a conversation and he didn't really pay any attention to me so, I hopped up over the fence and he still didn't really recognize I was there,” Hart said.

The officer said he then had to quickly evaluate whether trying to reach for the boy would have set him off.

He says no matter what, he had to help him: “When I got up to the top of the fence, to me, in my experience it looked like he was going to jump.”

Realizing he couldn’t wait for backup, the sergeant heroically decided to grab the child and pull him over to safety. But Hart says it was just a feat of luck.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to help him because I just happened to be there,” Hart said. “Who knows how long he would have sat that. Had he jumped, it probably would have been fatal based on the height.”

Medics rushed the child to an area hospital for evaluation and he was back with his parents on Tuesday night.