A police officer in South Carolina used a suicidal man’s love of football to talk him off a ledge.
In an incident captured on the officer’s body camera, the man could be seen sitting on an overpass ledge and saying, “I don’t want to live.”
The officer, Michael Blackmore of the Columbia Police Department, began trying to get the man to talk about something he had to live for. At first Blackmore asked about the man’s mother, but the man said his mother died. Blackmore then asked whether the man wanted to watch football this weekend and got him talking about his favorite teams.
“You like watching football? Who’s your team? Redskins?” Blackmore said. “On Sunday when you’re watching the Redskins play, you’ll look back and be like, man, what was I thinking on Friday night? You’re just having a bad night.”
Washington plays Dallas on Sunday, something Blackmore figured the man would want to see.
“I’ll see you some time next week and I’ll say, ‘How about those Redskins,'” Blackmore said. “I’m definitely gonna pull for them when they play Dallas because I hate Dallas.”
After several minutes, the man allowed Blackmore and another officer to approach him, take his hand and pull him back onto the sidewalk.
Blackmore told The State he talked down another suicidal man by talking about football last month.
“It was pretty much the same exact thing,” Blackmore said. “I ended up talking to the guy about football. He told me he was a Notre Dame fan.”
Football gives a lot of people something to live for, and Blackmore, by recognizing that, was a life saver.