A Natick police officer is being praised as a hero this week, after managing to talk a suicidal man out of jumping off of an overpass that crossed Route 9.
Dylan Punch, 27, said he was the first officer to respond to numerous 911 calls about a distraught man seemingly considering the potentially deadly leap, MetroWest Daily News reported.
“He was crying a lot and he was really upset,” Punch told the paper. “I just got down to his level and I started talking to him, asking him what was going on in his life. He had lost his job and he didn’t have a place. I told him we could help with those temporary problems. Jumping off the bridge is a finality.”
Punch reportedly sent bystanders away and tried to talk the man down for about five minutes. He told the Boston Globe that he also asked the man to consider the others who would witness the traumatizing act.
“I told him if he jumped off the bridge it might solve his problem, but it would probably screw me up for the rest of my life, to see something like that and wonder if I could have done something differently,” Punch told the Globe . “I think that got through to him, to know police are humans.”
Luckily, the man agreed to leave the ledge, and was later transported to MetroWest Medical Center’s Leonard Morse campus in Natick for an evaluation. Punch told MetroWest that the man said he “realizes he needs help.”
“It’s just empathy. He just needed someone to talk to,” Punch told the Globe.