Officers' quick thinking prevented tragedy in Henderson County

Hendersonville police officers sprang into action Monday after receiving a call about a man sitting on a ledge of a bridge along Spartanburg Highway. (Photo credit: Hendersonville Police Department)

The quick thinking of two Hendersonville police officers helped save the life of a 19-year-old.

Those officers sprang into action after receiving a call about 2:30 p.m. Monday about a man sitting on a ledge of a bridge along Spartanburg Highway.

"I saw the subject, and he was on the railing of the bridge and had both feet and his hands leaning forward,” Hendersonville Police Officer Colby Allman said. “I thought he was probably going to jump."

When Hendersonville Police Officer John Wing arrived on the scene, he began to try to talk the teen off the ledge.

"At first, he was a little hesitant to talk," Wing said.

Wing said the man kept saying he was going to end his life.

"He said a few times 'I'm just going to jump, I'm just going to do it,'" Wing said.

When they realized they weren’t going to be able to talk him down, the officers had to quickly come up with another plan.

"Once he started conversing, he wasn't directly looking at me,” Wing said. “So, I started giving hand signals to my lieutenant."

That hand signal was what Lt. Leon Worthy was waiting for to send in Allman.

"I bear-hugged him and picked him up over the railing to keep him from trying to lunge forward," Allman said.

As fast as that moment was, Allman said his mind was racing even faster.

"Your mind is racing at 100 mph,” Allman said. “You’re just trying to make the best decision in a split second."

Being able to make those split-second decisions is one of the reasonsWorthy thinks so highly of his officers.

"In my mind, everyday they come to work, they're a heroes," Worthy said.

Wing and Allman see things a little bit differently.

"I don't think we’re heroes,” Allman said. “We get paid to help people."

"We cared for him,” Wing said. “The last thing we wanted to do is see him get hurt."

The officers said if you know anyone who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts, you should encourage them to reach out for help.

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