Heart-stopping moment 'hero' police officer grabs disturbed man as he jumps from roof

Paul Wright
Police officer saves retirement home resident

A police body camera captured the heart-stopping moment an officer rescued a disturbed man as he tried to jump off a rooftop in Connecticut, US.

Officer Justin Martin had been attending a call-out last Friday (21 April) concerning a "combative resident" at a nursing home in Hamden, a suburb of New Haven.

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Footage from his bodycam shows the officer racing up several flights of stairs in search of the resident, before spotting him on the top floor balcony.

He can be seen chasing after the man, shouting "hey, hey, hey!" as the man runs towards the roof's edge.

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Martin manages to grab the nursing home resident by his feet as he dives head first over the balcony railing – preventing a fall that would have seen the man plunge six floors.

"I just wanted to catch up to him. I didn't want him to hurt himself. I didn't want to lose sight of him and I didn't know the building so I wanted to make sure that I was able to catch up to him," Martin told local news channel WTNH.

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"I was able to grab his foot and he had a belt on so I was able to pull him up enough to get the belt... and I was able to pull him up after that."

The disturbed man could be heard struggling as he was brought back over the railing to safety. He was later taken to hospital for evaluation.

Martin said: "I knew it was a high risk situation for the gentleman but after watching the video I was like, 'Oh man, that really just happened'. Everyone got to go home safe and everything worked out well. I was able to help the community that day and I'm really glad it turned out that way."

The rest home, the Whitney Center, has thanked the officer for saving the man's life.

"Whitney Center is extremely grateful for the heroic action of our staff and Officer Justin Martin who prevented a terrible tragedy from happening," the retirement centre said.

"Our first concern is for the resident who is facing this challenge in his life. Our prayers are with him and our hope is that he gets the help and support he needs."

The Samaritans provides a free support service for those who need to talk to someone in the UK and Republic of Ireland. It can be contacted via Samaritans.org or by calling 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, please contact a free support service at Mind.org.uk or call 0300 123 3393. Call charges apply.

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