Toronto police officer and bystander rescue man from bridge
WARNING: This story contains details that some readers may find disturbing.
A Toronto Police officer and passerby recently helped save the life of a man on a city bridge.
Melaku Jufar says he was up early to take photos around Sherbourne and Bloor Streets on Family Day, Monday, Feb. 21. He wanted to take photos at the pedestrian bridge over Rosedale Valley.
"I was taking some pictures on the street and I see the guy on the outside of the bridge," Jufar tells blogTO.
Jufar tried to talk to the man but he just told him to go away. He had never come across a person in distress like this. He called 911.
"I was freaked out and the lady (at 911 dispatch) told me to just calm down and I explained to her where we are."
He just hung up when he saw a Toronto Police car driving by.
It was about 9 a.m. and Toronto Police Constable Thomas Corcoran tells blogTO he was just driving back to 33 Division after a 14-hour shift at roadblocks during the convoy protest.
He saw Jufar waving and jumping for his attention.
"I stopped and he came over and said there's somebody hanging from the bridge," Corcoran says.
When he got out there, he saw the man on the other side of the railing holding on with two hands. Vehicles had stopped below the bridge.
Corcoran says the man was looking away and seemed to be in a trance. He grabbed the man's coat but the man pulled away. He told the officer if he let go, he wouldn't jump.
"But I didn't believe him."
Corcoran was holding the man by his arms and then the man let go from the railing.
"And my body smashed against the railing and then that's when Mr. Jufar ran over and grabbed him too."
Together the two men were able to hoist the man to safety. Corcoran says the man wasn't very heavy.
He has only been with the Toronto Police Service for about four years, but this is the second time he has helped save a person from death by suicide. Another time, he and another officer stopped a person from jumping off a balcony.
Constables Patrick McCluskey and Gabriel DaSilva, of 51 Division, arrived shortly after Corcoran and Jufar had pulled the man up. Exhausted, Corcoran continued on to 33 Division.
"I was already like so tired and just ready to go home," he says.
Jufar, who works for a skylight company, says he has never had this kind of experience before.
"It was scary," he says. "I was shaking. My leg was shaking."
The man was sent to hospital for a psychiatric assessment.
Toronto Police Inspector Andy Singh praised Corcoran for going above and beyond his duty to save the man.
"This officer displayed courage and bravery in quickly intervening in a suicide attempt," he said. "The officer did that at risk to his own safety and was able to save a life with the assistance of a citizen."
Sergeant James Reynolds of 51 Division also thanked Corcoran for his bravery and decisiveness.
"Due the decisive action taken by this officer, this crisis was resolved safely and peacefully," he said.
"His recognition of the severity of the medical emergency, immediate efforts and effective crisis intervention resulted directly in saving this person's life."
"By working collaboratively with a member of the community to save a life, his actions also helped build trust and strengthen our relationship with the communities we serve. The officer exemplifies the best qualities of our organization and policing."
If you are thinking of suicide or know someone who is, resources are available online at crisisservicescanada.ca or contact to the national suicide prevention helpline at 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645.
Toronto Police Service
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