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Officer Talks Man Down From Highway Sign

Posted at 8:31 PM, Jan 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-06 22:06:49-05

A Metro Nashville Police officer has been credited with saving a man's life who climbed a highway sign during the height of rush hour above I-65.

"His emotions went from he smiled and laughed a couple times to just screaming," Officer Cedric Connolly said during an interview on Wednesday.

Officer Connolly has been a police officer for 20 years. Tuesday night though, was the first time he found himself in the bucket of a ladder truck perched high above I-65 trying to talk a person down from a road sign 25 feet in the air.
 
"My job was get him down safely and get him the help he needs," he added.
 
Officer Connolly started crisis negotiation training last February, and he spent two hours above the highway trying to convince the man to come down.
 
"The man said 'I don't want to go to a hospital. I'm afraid they'll hurt me' and I said 'there's gonna be a police officer with you you're not gonna get hurt,' to which he responded 'you please just don't handcuff me,'" Officer Connolly recalled.
 
Eventually something clicked between the two. Officer Connolly said he was just being human.
 
"We moved the ladder platform over and he stepped into the bucket and just kept saying 'I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry,"' he said about the situation which ended with the man being taken down safely after nearly two hours.
 
"I really hope he's able to get the mental health counseling he needs," the 20-year police veteran added.
 
For a list of Suicide Prevention Resources click here.