EAST SIDE -- Captain Gary Messina went for his regular jog along the FDR Wednesday morning when he saw something that stopped him in his tracks.
“I saw a gentleman jump in the water,” he said. “As I caught up to him I noticed he was flailing his arms.”
According to authorities, the man was emotionally disturbed and had his mind set on doing one thing.
“I believe at first, I believe his intention was to kill himself,” Messina told reporters.
“Myself and a gentleman named David Blauzvern both stepped over the railing and as we watched this man trying to stay on top of the water,” he recalled. “We decided to jump into the water.”
In addition to Messina and Blauzvern, a third passerby named John Green also jumped in.
The jumper, who was not immediately identified, suddenly had a change of heart, according to Messina. His struggle to stay above water and to stay alive was clear and it gave Captain Messina and the two good Samaritans a good enough reason to jump into action.
“We went out about 20 yards, swam up to him and we brought him up on the wall,” Messina said.
Onlookers who witnessed the whole ordeal called 911. An NYPD rescue boat was dispatched to the scene along the East River a short time later, assisting all four men out of the water.
“These gentlemen who jumped in are actually the real heroes,” Messina said. “This is my job and this is what I’m trained to do but these guys did it out of the goodness of their heart.”
The jumper was transported to Bellevue hospital where he underwent a psychiatric evaluation.