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Atlantic Daily Voice serves Absecon, Atlantic City, Brigantine, Egg Harbor City, Elwood, Linwood, Longport, Mays Landing, Northfield, Pleasantville, Port Republic & Ventnor City

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VIDEO: Hero Atlantic City Officer Tells Suicidal Man 'I Love You' In Close-Call Rescue

Officer Eric Knuttel hugs the man and says "I love you."
Officer Eric Knuttel hugs the man and says "I love you." Photo Credit: Atlantic City Police Department

A distraught and suicidal man was seconds away from plunging to his death from the top of a 13-story Atlantic City Parking garage, when police officers came to his rescue -- pulling him off the ledge, then hugging him.

And it was all caught on body cam footage (click here to watch).

Acting on a tip from the Pleasantville Police Department, Atlantic City police officers began searching the city around 8:45 p.m. Oct. 14, the ACPD said.

Thanks to a photograph sent by the man's family, officers located him at the top of the 13-story Claridge Hotel parking garage, threatening to jump.

Officer Eric Knuttel, a member of the department’s Crisis Negotiation Team, began speaking to the man and trying to talk him off the ledge around 9:10 p.m., police said.

The man was also on a FaceTime call during this interaction.

After speaking for 10 minutes, the man became extremely agitated, stood up, walked towards the ledge, and yelled. Knuttel believed that the man was going to jump and ran towards, him grabbing on to his leg. 

 Officers rushed in and grabbed the man, as Knuttel pulled both of them from the ledge.

The man was transported to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Division, for an evaluation.

Knuttel opened up about the rescue to 6ABC, saying he realized the man had "so much potential" when they were talking. The officer felt like he had no choice but to save him.

Knuttel was assisted in this rescue by Sergeant John Waddell and Officers Matthew Stollenwerk, Randy Rodriguez-Marte, Irwin Sanchez and Kyle Fauvell.

“I am extremely proud of the bravery and compassion shown by Officer Knuttel and the other officers for this man who was in severe emotional distress," Interim Officer-in-Charge James Sarkos said.

"Their actions are indicative of the work routinely done by members of this police department.

"For years, the Atlantic City Police Department has taken a proactive approach when it comes to the mental health of our residents and visitors by partnering with social service organizations and providing training to our officers."

For anyone that needs assistance, or knows someone that needs assistance, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741.

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Serves Absecon, Atlantic City, Brigantine, Egg Harbor City, Elwood, Linwood, Longport, Mays Landing, Northfield, Pleasantville, Port Republic & Ventnor City

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