(JTA) — A Jewish man was in the right place at the right time when an elderly man attempted to jump off a New York bridge.
Tuli Abraham, 30, told the Gifter in Gotham news website that he and his wife were driving over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects the boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island, toward Brooklyn on Sunday and decided at the last minute to take the lower level rather than the upper, his typical route, due to an accident.
Halfway over the bridge, the car in front of the couple stopped and the driver got out. Telling Abraham that he was going to jump, the 79-year-old man climbed over the rail, but Abraham was able to grab his belt in the split second before he jumped.
Abraham, who is Orthodox, told Gifter in Gotham that he held onto the man’s belt as he dangled over the edge of the bridge while his wife called 911; she then filmed the incident. The man struggled, and Abraham said he nearly had to let go before he was joined by a state trooper who happened to be driving by, and then by an off-duty police officer. Several New York police officers arrived with the Emergency Services Unit summoned on 911.
It took all of them to pull the as-yet-unidentified man back to safety.
The police later held a news conference on the ground near the bridge and, though Abraham was not there, they acknowledged that without the help of the “Good Samaritan” they may have lost the suicidal man.
“I did what anyone else would have done,” Abraham said, adding that he was ready to get on with his life.
Abraham, a caterer, is the son of Isaac Abraham, a community activist in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. His father noted on Facebook that the New York State Police press office, which credited its trooper with saving the man, “just can’t give credit where credit is due.”