The man had driven a Dodge Caravan Brooklyn bound along the upper level of the bridge, left the vehicle with the hazards lights on and climbed out onto the outer cables.
Police say he was upset that he could not find a job and provide for his family.
Officer Robert Reed began speaking to the man, then moved out closer to him. The man was standing on a ledge with both hands gripped around the cables.
Detectives Jeffrey Loughery and Paul Fazio, believing the man was preparing to jump, quickly moved in and secured him with a safety harness and a rescue line. He was then brought to the safety of the roadbed and removed by EMS to Staten Island University North Hospital.