A stranger in need

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Tonight, I responded to a call involving a person who wanted to jump off a bridge. The call location was in a neighborhood about a half mile from the freeway overpass.

When I arrived, I saw a male and female standing together on the corner in front of a house. I assumed the male was a close friend or boyfriend based on how close they were standing next to each other.

The woman, who was in her early 20s, briefly told me she wasn’t taking her medication and had suicidal thoughts. She clearly had emotional problems and she needed help. I gathered some  preliminary info from her and then let another officer take over that part of the investigation when he arrived.  I then spoke to the male to find out how he was involved.

The male, who was about 20 years old, told me he was riding his skateboard down the street when she flagged him down.

“She just stopped you? Do you know her?”

“I don’t know her. She just opened up to me,” he said.

“What did she say?”

“She said she was depressed and she wanted to jump off a bridge.”

“She just stopped you and told you that?”

“Yes.”

“Who called 911?” I asked.

“We both did.”

I asked the male for his name and information. He handed me an identification card and said with a pained look on his face, “I had two friends jump off of bridges before. I couldn’t leave her.”

“Did either of your friends survive?”

“No.”

I could tell there was real compassion by the way he spoke. The tone of his voice and the way he looked over at her told me he truly believed she was going to kill herself and he wanted to prevent that from happening.

It made me wonder what happened with his two friends. It obviously had affected him enough to stay with the woman until we arrived.

The male didn’t want any recognition or a pat on the back. He only wanted to help another person in need. When he was done, he got on his skateboard and rode off into the fast approaching darkness. When I left, I was glad I got to see a random act of kindness.

With all of the negativity in the world, it was nice to see a person doing something for a stranger in need. It might have been something small on his part, but maybe it showed the woman that there were people in the world who still cared.

Maybe that’s all the hope she needs to keep going in life.