A New Jersey police officer tackled a suicidal man seconds before he was going to leap off a bridge, dashcam video of the tense encounter shows.
Riverdale police Sgt. Greg Bogert pulled up to the man on Route 287 near exit 53 at about 11:30 a.m. Monday after multiple reports of a man walking on the ledge of the bridge.
The man was walking in front of a car on the shoulder of the busy road when Bogert pulled up to the scene, the video shows.
"I remember saying, 'It's not worth it, stay calm,'" Bogert told NBC 4 New York Tuesday.
When Bogert asked the man a question and tried to calm him down, the man sprinted for the ledge, according to the video.
Bogert chased him, yelling, "Don't do it! Don't do it!" before he caught up to the suicidal man. He tackled the man, pulling him to the ground just before he reached the ledge, the video shows.
"A lot of people don't realize how fast things happen for us, so a lot of it was instinct and reaction, more than training," said Bogert, an 18-year veteran of the force.
The man continued to struggle, and Bogert held him down on the highway. Cars came dangerously close to them until backup arrived, video shows.
Bogert's knuckles were raw from the encounter Tuesday but he said saving the man's life was a good feeling.
"There's a lot of good cops in New Jersey and I don't think they get credit," he said. "And it's nice to see when people recognize it."
Millions have watched the dashcam footage, and Bogert said he's reading all the positive comments on Facebook — including one from a woman whose family member committed suicide. She thanked Bogert for saving another family from the same tragedy.
The overpass near exit 55 is not known for suicides, police said.
The distraught man is being treated at a nearby hospital. Police are looking for his family in Pennsylvania.