“Always out there. Always protecting, even off-duty!” New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said on May 5, after off-duty NYPD officer Cory Pilzer stopped a man from jumping off the Bayonne Bridge days earlier.
Over the weekend, Officer Pilzer was enjoying his day off when he saw a despondent man about to jump off the Bayonne Bridge, Shea said. “With some help from a bystander, they stopped the troubled man and surely prevented a tragedy.”
Footage of the event shows the man attempting to scale the bridge to jump into the Kill Van Kull being yanked down from the bridge by Pilzer and a Good Samaritan. The man was taken into custody for a medical evaluation.
The incident marks the second time since April that police saved a man from jumping off the Bayonne Bridge.
One attempt, one death in April
On April 14, police officers stopped a man from jumping into the Kill Van Kull. Officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) responded to reports of an unauthorized man on the Bayonne Bridge.
Harry Wedin, Chief of the NYPD Special Ops, shared video on social media of first responders from the Emergency Service Unit (ESU) saving the man’s life.
“ESU saved the life of a male threatening to jump from the Bayonne Bridge,” Wedin tweeted. “The male sat on the ledge high above the water.”
Video of the event shows a man in neon green sneakers sitting on the ledge of the Bayonne Bridge as first responders try to talk him off the ledge. Suddenly, the man jerks his body as if he is about to jump or move closer to the ledge. In an instant, first responders grabbed the man and pulled him backward, onto the bridge.
“He was safely taken into custody and transported to an area hospital for evaluation,” Wedin said.
However, some outcomes are not so positive.
An unnamed woman jumped to her death from the Bayonne Bridge into the Kill Van Kull on April 1, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The woman stopped her vehicle on the bridge and got out around 9:25 a.m. After leaving her car, the woman jumped off the bridge to her death.
The pandemic’s emotional toll
While it is not clear if any of the incidents were related to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are a solemn reminder to take care of your mental health as New Jersey continues to self-isolate.
Mental health has never been more important than it is now amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While most are rightfully worried about their physical health as the virus continues to spread, the ongoing pandemic also impacts mental health.
At the onset of the outbreak, Gov. Phil Murphy issued a stay-at-home order and mandated social distancing. As a result, many people who are not accustomed to long periods of self-isolation have been forced to cope with being alone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, and the worsening of mental health conditions, according to the CDC.
Depression can be triggered by experiencing traumatic or stressful events, such as physical or sexual abuse; the death of a loved one; financial problems; major life changes‚ even if planned; or using alcohol or drugs.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.