Witnesses credit Ottawa Police officers with saving man when he jumped off a 7th story balcony

Posted On Thursday June 17, 2021

Trigger Warning: suicide

On June 9, police were called to a downtown apartment building shortly after 6 am about an injured man trying to harm himself.

Csts. Dan Jessop, Mark Talbot, Sydney Klager and Rachel Robinson arrived to find a man straddling the balcony and struggling with two people trying to hold on to him.

“Normally I would try to speak to a person in distress to get them to come back to safety on their own,” said Cst. Jessop, who’s been an officer for two years. “It can be dangerous to physically grab them, but this man’s demeanour told me he was intent on jumping and we had to intervene.”

As the officers reached for him, the man pushed one of the officers to the ground and jumped. Without hesitation, Cst. Talbot grabbed the man around his torso and pulled him back. A struggle ensued as the officers and the good Samaritan who was in the apartment before police arrived, tried to subdue him.

“The man had effectively already jumped off the balcony and was past the point of no return, but the two officers swiftly pulled him back out of mid-air,” said Ottawa resident Suzanne B, who witnessed the incident. “There is no doubt the officers saved his life.”

The man was treated by paramedics and taken to hospital for self-inflicted injuries that happened before police arrived.

If you are struggling, help is available. You can talk to the Victim Support Unit, the Mental Health Unit or contact your family doctor.