A distraught man kept police at bay for over 30 minutes last night as he threatened to jump from the Brooklyn Bridge. The drama unfolded shortly after 10:30 p.m. with reports of a man, armed with a knife, threatening to commit suicide. Police responded, and found the man clinging to the outside edge of the bridgework, west of the Brooklyn tower, along the Manhattan-bound lanes of traffic.
Cops from the Emergency Service Squad secured themselves to the bridge, and attempted to initiate conversation, as police and fire boats circled nearby. The officers encountered difficulty communicating with the subject, as he could only speak Arabic. An Arabic-speaking officer, assigned to the Transit Bureau, was located and hurried to the scene.
The distraught man, still apparently armed with the knife, was now clinging to the bridge by two fingers, and he plummeted to the water seconds later.
The Fireboat Kevin C. Kane of FDNY Marine Co. 6 and its crew sprang into action, pulling the man aboard. One firefighter who entered the water had to be taken to Long Island College Hospital and treated for exposure. Meanwhile, other firefighters helped pull the man to the area beneath the Brooklyn tower of the bridge, and then carried him to New Dock and Water Sts. to await an ambulance.
Through it all, the victim never lost consciousness. One firefighter encouraged him by saying “hold on, buddy, you did it! You survived the Brooklyn Bridge!” A police official summed up the job by stating that the jumper was transported to Lutheran Medical Center, “miraculously with minor injuries.”