NYPD officer climbs down skyscraper to save man threatening to jump during FBI standoff

Chanteé Lans Image
Thursday, March 23, 2023
NYPD officer climbs down skyscraper to save man during FBI standoff
Members of the NYPD Elite Emergency Service Unit helped save the life of a man threatening to jump from a skyscraper in Midtown, Manhattan. Chantee Lans has the details.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Video caught the dramatic moment a daring NYPD officer climbing down a skyscraper to save the life of a man threatening to take his own on Wednesday.

"I was able to guide him into the window where my teammates were able to take him into custody," said Det. James Tobin of the NYPD Elite Emergency Service Unit.

The detective can be seen in the video rappelling down one flight from the 32nd floor. He then kicks at the man in distress and pushes him back as another officer yanks him through his 31st floor apartment window to safety.

"We intervened with the man in crisis, tried to speak with him, tried to talk him out of it, sometimes these individuals comply, sometimes they don't, and they need a little bit more pushing let's say."

Police got the call around 8:30 a.m. from the FBI about a man dangling off his window ledge.

The FBI was serving a warrant for his arrest in a white-collar crime. That's when police said the 35-year-old threatened to jump to his death on West 56th Street, but the NYPD officers of the Elite Emergency Service Unit had other plans.

"I had an opportunity to go into the room and watched them as they worked and what they did today was beyond brave," NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said. "ESU made a decision that he would not die today."

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell praised the specialized team.

"This another example of your NYPD working alongside our partners putting their lives on the line every day in furtherance of public safety and this city," she said.

A typical Midtown morning turned into anything but for onlookers.

"I saw fire trucks and they closed off the street," one witness said.

The building is just across the street from the busy and historic Carnegie Hall.

"I immediately thought, I just hate thinking that it could get to that point for some people, that they don't see another alternative," another witness said.

The man remained in custody Wednesday.

Eyewitness News reporter Chantee Lans reached out to both the NYPD and the FBI.

It's not clear what that warrant was for.


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