Police officers from three agencies coaxed a man off the Manville Road overpass of the Saw Mill River Parkway in Pleasantville Wednesday morning after he had threatened to jump to the highway below.
A 19-year-old man was sitting on the edge of the overpass with his legs dangling off the side at about 10:30 a.m. when Pleasantville police received a call from his mother, police said. A Pleasantville police officer arrived at the scene first in an attempt to convince him to come off the edge of the overpass.
Pleasantville police contacted county police to shut the parkway, which snarled traffic in the village for over half an hour.
The man, whose identity was not released, was sitting on the side of the bridge over the northbound lanes of the parkway and facing north, said county Department of Public Safety Kieran O’Leary. He said county police positioned an inflatable safety device on the parkway to try and catch the man in case he jumped.
Soon after officers from the Pleasantville and Mount Pleasant police departments and county officers began to talk to the man, who was highly agitated, according to Pleasantville police. The officers spoke calmly and maintained distance to gain trust and defuse the situation.
Over the next half-hour, enough rapport was built between the man and the officers where they slowly closed the distance and move to within a few feet of him, Pleasantville police said. At one point when the man became distracted, the responding officers took the opportunity to grab him and pull him off the ledge to safety.
The man was taken by the Pleasantville Volunteer Ambulance Corps Westchester Medical Center for psychiatric evaluation.
During the parkway’s closure, southbound traffic was diverted at Grant Street while northbound traffic was forced to leave the highway at the Bedford Road exit, O’Leary said.