Newly-released video footage shows a Newark police officer stop a suicidal girl from jumping off of a roof.
Fourth Precinct Officer Elijah Melvin arrived on scene just after 5 p.m. June 23, and removed a window from the home to get closer to the girl, Newark Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara said.
Melvin climbed out onto the roof and spoke compassionately toward the girl, who said she had been feeling distraught after losing her older brother.
The officer shared with her his own relationship with his younger sister, telling her that her brother would want her to live her life to the fullest.
By about 5:20 p.m., the teen agreed to not jump and was taken down from the roof by Melvin and other first responders. She was then transported by EMS to an area hospital for further evaluation.
"This video was difficult for me to watch because it's obvious the pain this young person was feeling was very real," O'Hara said.
"Empathy and compassion are the tools most needed in situations like these. And Officer Melvin used those tools skillfully in de-escalating an emotionally charged situation to save this teen’s life.
“Had it not been for the personal intervention of Officer Melvin, this teen’s family and the entire Newark community, would have been grieving her tragic loss,” O’Hara added.
“Instead, we are celebrating a life that was preserved by a caring Newark Police Officer who presented himself as a big brother to a distraught teen.”
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