SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA.com) — First-responders pulled off a dramatic rescue Thursday saving the life of a woman who threatened to jump from the roof of a 22-story building in Sherman Oaks.
She was perched on the edge when police and firefighters rushed to save her.
Among the LAPD officers — Rodginald Cayette. He began talking to the distraught woman and tried to gain her trust.
“She was agitated with people coming closer, she didn’t want anyone to come, she threatened to jump every time we got closer.” says Cayette.
As he listened to the woman’s troubles, Officer Antonio Canchola was also trying to slowly approach.
“If we go and try to grab her and she sees us, she could jump or we could go with her and that’s all going through our minds,” Canchola told CBS2’s Rachel Kim.
The officers said the time they spent on the roof felt like an eternity, not knowing what would happen. With the woman’s legs dangling from the ledge, they did the best they could to get her to come toward them.
“I want to look in your eyes, I want to know what’s going in your life, tell me what’s going on, why are we here? Explain to me. She would smirk and look, disconnect, then I’d re-engage her,” says Cayette.
Meanwhile, Canchola and an LA City firefighter put on harnesses, just in case, and approached from the other side.
“She was talking to my partner, she was distracted. Me and the firefighter, we pretty much did a bear hug on her, make sure we had a good grip, and bring her down with us,” said Canchola.
The woman was eventually brought down from the building safely. The experience is something the officers will never forget.
“I feel relieved, I feel glad that she didn’t jump and we were able to save her life,” said Canchola.
Relief was felt all around.
“I actually had to pull myself away for the first time in my 14 years to just gather and thank God it went the right way,” Cayette said.