Police save woman from jumping to her death

Posted at 11:55 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 23:55:13-04

NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB/CNN) - A  harrowing moment was captured on an officer’s body camera as police struggled yet manage to pull a woman off the ledge of an apartment tower.

The scene unfolded 191 feet from the ground at the top of the Madison Towers.

“Sixteen stories, and there was very limited room,” said New Haven Police Officer Elvin Rivera. “We were within a couple of feet of the ledge.”

The 24-year-old woman, who was emotionally disturbed, was on the roof drinking, telling officers she wanted to end her life.

“She continued dangling back and forth off of the edge, and I kept trying to tell her to please hold onto the fence, that she was important, that she was loved, that God loved her, that I loved her,” Rivera said. “I opened my arms up and told her to come to me several times.”

But the woman wouldn’t come close enough for him to grab her. After being on the hot tar roof for an hour, the woman told police her feet were on fire and that she could use some ice. When the ice arrived, Rivera saw his chance.

“I extended my arm and when she came a tad bit closer, at which point I quickly reached out and grabbed ahold of her arm,” Rivera said.

Officers pulled the woman to safety. They were later reunited, when the woman came to the New Haven Police Department, this time with a message for them, Officer Elsa Berrios said.

“What she said and what’s still in my mind was that, ‘Thank you for not giving up on me,’” Berrios said. “Obviously, this is what we do - protect and serve - and it makes you feel good inside when you do save someone’s life.”

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