MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Miami Beach Police officers are being credited with saving a suicidal man from jumping off a roof of a South Beach parking garage.
The 50-minute ordeal happened Tuesday at the garage on 16th Street and Collins Ave., according to the police report.
A camera rolling from a nearby business captured the dramatic scene unfolding six stories above the street.
“We received a call of a man who wanted to jump off of the parking garage,” Det. Vivian Hernandez told CBS 4’s Lauren Pastrana. “He was claiming he had issues and he was stressed.”
As officers arrived to help, a crowd gathered on the ground.
Police said Dennis Constanapolis, a 38-year-old homeless man, called 911 himself threatening to jump.
But officers weren’t about to let that happen.
“[The officer] engaged the subject and began to build a rapport with him,” Det. Hernandez said. “So that subject gained trust in Officer Beeker and what he was telling him. Telling him it was going to be ok. There’s no reason to do this.”
The officer seen talking to Constanapolis is a five-year veteran of the Miami Beach Police Department and a former member of the NYPD.
He’s received specialized crisis intervention training in the past.
WEB EXTRA: Watch as Miami Beach Police use crisis intervention tactics to talk a man down from a parking garage ledge
The voluntary 40-hour training course teaches officers strategies for neutralizing dangerous situation, specifically dealing with people coping with depression.
“He used his verbal judo, our talking skills, he used his talking skills in a magnificent way,” Hernandez explained.
The officer alongside Officer Beeker was a hostage negotiator.
Together, they talked to the man.
Constanapolis and Beeker eventually linked arms and more cops swarmed in.
The man was removed from the ledge and eventually taken to the hospital where he was Baker Acted.
Officer Beeker received a round of applause from the crowd as the situation ended safely.
“He saved someone’s life that day,” Hernandez said. “We’re proud of both of those officers and everybody on scene.”