‘Hang on! Hang on!’: Rookie Ga. officer saves woman from jumping off bridge
Marietta Officer Austin Martin spoke to the woman for almost an hour and laced his fingers through the fence with hers until she was rescued
Suicide is always preventable. If you are having thoughts of suicide or feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline immediately at 988. Counselors are also available to chat at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. Remember: You deserve to be supported, and it is never too late to seek help. Speak with someone today.
By Caroline Silva
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
MARIETTA, Ga. — A woman hung onto a chain-link fence more than 20 feet above a Cobb County interstate with the plan of letting go.
A Marietta police officer made it just in time to save her.
The woman was already scaling the fence on the Delk Road bridge that looks down onto I-75 by the time police arrived at the scene early Thursday morning, body camera footage reveals.
“Hang on! Hang on! We just want to talk,” Officer Austin Martin yelled as the woman appeared to toss her body over the top of the fence and climb down toward the interstate.
Law enforcement knew she was at the location only because a 911 call was made advising that “a woman was suicidal” on Delk Road, police said. Martin, who joined Marietta police less than a year ago, was the first to arrive at the scene and quickly worked to create a relationship with the woman.
“He stayed calm and spoke with her for almost a full hour, attempting to get her to climb back over the fence to safety,” the department said.
Though other Marietta officers, along with Cobb police, Marietta fire and Cobb fire, were there and ready to assist with the rescue, authorities said the extra help made the woman “angry” and uncomfortable. Martin found himself in the middle of a life-or-death situation.
When the woman looked like she was going to drop due to fatigue, officials said Martin was able to interlace his fingers with hers through the chain-link fence. Others then swooped in, holding onto the woman’s clothing to ensure she did not fall.
The interstate was shut down in both directions during the rescue. Fire crews were eventually able to raise a ladder from below the bridge to pull the woman to safety. Police said she is safe and receiving the help she needs.
“To those who ask why anyone would want to become a police officer these days, this is just one example of the impact a first responder can have in someone’s life,” Marietta police Chief Marty Ferrell said in a statement. “If you experience a crisis in Cobb, rest assured we are all coming as one cohesive team to assist you.”
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