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Newark cops rescue 13-year-old boy threatening to jump from third-story ledge

Posted at 12:59 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 14:10:15-04

NEWARK, N.J. — Two New Jersey cops are being credited with possibly saving a boy's life after he threatened to jump from a building's ledge Monday, according city officials.

Police said a call came in just before 5 p.m. for a young boy threatening to jump from a third-floor fire escape at Youth Consultation Services on Broadway in Newark. According to their website, the organization provides services for New Jersey families who have children with special needs.

Officials said the 13-year-old boy had locked himself in a third-floor common area and was out on the building's fire escape when police arrived.

When Newark Police Sergeant A. Barbosa and Officer J. Johnson arrived, they found the teen on the ledge, holding onto a chain-link fence, with nothing underneath him to prevent him from falling, police said.

According to officials, Barbosa distracted the teen by engaging him in conversation, giving Johnson an opportunity to quickly grab the boy and pull him back onto the fire escape, and then into the building.

"I commend Sergeant Barbosa and Officer Johnson for taking the initiative to immediately devise a plan of action that saved this boy's life," Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said in a statement Wednesday.

"Preservation of a life is always our goal, but it's clear that these officers exercised exceptional compassion and the care needed to ensure that this frightening scenario had a positive ending," Ambrose added.

Once down from the ledge, the boy was then taken to a local hospital for evaluation, authorities said.


PIX11 has organized resources available to those dealing with depression and possibly suicidal thoughts here.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, contact the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). It’s a free, 24/7 service that offers support, information, and local resources. You can also click here for additional hotlines within the tri-state area and the nation.

Depression and suicidal thoughts are often exhibited in many ways. Warning signs for suicide can include, but are not limited to, talking about wanting to die; conveying feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or being a burden; and displaying extreme moods.

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention advises that you do not leave the person alone, call a prevention hotline, and take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.

For more information on suicide prevention, including additional resources and warning signs, you can visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website.