Two friendly passersby choose to take action
JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — Two caring individuals who came across a distraught man on the Third Street bridge in Jamestown are being credited with helping to prevent a potential “tragedy from happening.”
Chris Murphy, who lives in and has worked in Warren County, and Steve Reynolds were traveling across the bridge Saturday around 3 p.m. when they spotted the man with one leg over the railing. The two friends work at Forte restaurant downtown and were on their way to Wegmans when they stopped to check on the individual.
“We passed by and this guy had one leg over the railing,” Reynolds told The Post-Journal when contacted this week. “Chris and I just looked at each other, and I asked ‘Should we turn around?’ So we did pull up on the shoulder.”
Reynolds, who lives in East Randolph, N.Y., said he could tell the man was distraught. He put his hand on the man’s back and attempted to talk with him.
“He told me ‘You don’t know me. Get in your car and keep moving,'” Reynolds said.
After the man got off the railing and began walking away, Reynolds said he got back into his vehicle and called 911. While on the phone with county dispatch, the man again approached the edge of the bridge and began to look over.
Reynolds again got out and attempted to talk to the man. That’s when Murphy and Reynolds said the individual grabbed the railing and attempted to jump off the bridge.
“Steve got out of the truck and when he got up to him the guy just tried to lunge off,” said Murphy, a Youngsville resident.
The two were able to hold onto the man until police arrived.
In a statement, Harry Snellings, Jamestown police chief, said, “On Saturday about 3 p.m. two citizens were in a vehicle traveling on the Third Street bridge when they observed a subject with one leg over the railing. They stopped their vehicle and approached this individual, attempting to speak him. During the course of the conversation, comments were made by the individual that prompted the two citizens to take action, pulling him from the railing. They controlled this person until officers arrived. Their actions potentially prevented a tragedy from happening.”
After being removed from the bridge, the man was taken for an evaluation.
Murphy and Reynolds said they were both shaken up after the incident and hoped the man was doing well.
“It was a pretty surreal experience,” Murphy said, later adding, “If you see something and it doesn’t seem right, don’t let the feeling pass you.”