CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Emergency crews in Charleston worked to save the life of a man who was in distress on the Arthur Ravenel Bridge late Wednesday night.
Charleston officer Dylan Kwitchoff was patrolling on the bridge around 9:00 p.m. when they received information by radio from another officer, Zachariah Azari, about a call coming in for a man who was on the edge of the bridge threatening to jump off.
“Officer Kwitchoff immediately began scanning the area and located the man clung to the outside of railing near the apex of the bridge,” officials said. “He attempted to make contact with the man who told him to stay back. Officer Kwitchoff did as the man asked and began talking with him from a distance.”
Officer Azari arrived a short time later and both talked with the man, who eventually reached his arm through the railing in an apparent request for help.
The two officers grabbed the man’s arm to hold onto him as other officers arrived the help.
“CPD officers from Team 1 Patrol District’s Squad D, as well as K9 Officer Joseph Hartmann arrived on the bridge, and the officers worked together utilizing the K9’s dog leash as a means to harness the man to the bridge until Charleston Fire arrived at the scene,” the police department said.
Crews set up an anchor to protect the man from falling. A Charleston firefighter then put on a harness and rappelled over the railing where he was able to safely secure the man.
“Assisting firefighters and police then brought the man over the railing safely,” they said.
The man was taken to a local hospital to be checked out. The two officers visited the man in the hospital where he thanked them for the care and kindness that they showed him during a time of need.
“Our troops are dedicated to helping others and saving lives – sometimes even at risk to their own lives. The officers and firefighters who responded to this person experiencing a mental health crisis displayed an exemplary level of care and compassion. They worked together using crisis intervention training, skill, and bravery to save the life of a person they had never met. I could not be more proud of the good work they and all our courageous men and women do every day in the city of Charleston,” said Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds said.