Officer's Heroic Rescue Caught on Tape - - Jackson, MS

Vicksburg 05/05/05

Officer's Heroic Rescue Caught on Tape

By David Kenney

A River City man is lucky to be alive, thanks to the quick actions of a Vicksburg Police Officer. The unidentified man seemed to be extremely depressed when he walked onto the Mississippi River bridge and tried to take his own life.

This entire ordeal was caught on tape from a squad-car camera.

It was around 11:00 Wednesday night when Sergeant Adarryll Dent responded to the call on the bridge, where he found a man literally on the edge.

"He just kept saying his life was unfair to him," Dent reounted."He was tired of it. He wanted to go and end it all."

Four stories above the swriling currents, the man stood on the small ledge, threatening to take his own life. Sgt. Dent immediately started efforts to talk him down.

"I told him everyone doesn't work things out the same way," Dent recalled. "At one point he would act as though he was going to come down; then he would change his mind. Eventually it got to the point where he said to give his belongings to his family."

It was then Dent knew he had to put himself in danger in order to save the man.

"He turned his back toward me, bowed his head and started saying the Lord's Prayer. I thought, how am I going to grab this guy without going over? My legs were trembling. I was praying as well."

After thirty minutes of negotiating, Sgt. Dent saw his window of opportunity and took it.

"His eyes were closed," Dent said. "When I noticed that, I stepped into action and grabbed him. Right as I grabbed him, it sounded like he said 'Amen,' as though he had finished the prayer. I just pulled back with all my might to pull him down, so he didn't carry me over as well."

Dent's dashboard camera caught the whole ordeal on videotape.

The man was put in a squad car and taken for a psychological evaluation.

Dent doesn't think of himself as a hero, but the videotape of the rescue is evidence, and the man he saved is living proof.

"Hopefully the chance I give him will be the changing point in his life," Dent said. 

The man's name is not being released. He does not face any charges and is  receiving treatment at River Region's West Hospital.

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