Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. And some, it seems, drive beer trucks. This is one of those stories that would be hard to believe, but there’s video of the extraordinary moment that two beer delivery men found a suicidal man on a highway bridge. The pair, with the help of a 12 pack, were able to talk the man down.
Jason Gabel and Kwame Anderson, two beer delivery men from St. Paul, Minnesota, are being celebrated for their quick thinking and obviously selfless act.
“While making their rounds on Wednesday, the pair spotted a man hanging onto an overpass fence,” Fox writes. “They believed the man was suicidal, prompting Anderson to call 911 as he tried to talk him into stepping off the ledge.”
In the short clip from the bridge, the men can be seen talking with the suicidal man. When he responds that he wants to “die,” the video shuts off and both men went to work.
“My first impression is this is not happening right now,” Gable said. “Is this fake?”
“I was thinking to myself, this poor guy is going to end his life in front of us and Kwame and I were here to witness it,” he said.
“I thought about Denzel Washington when he’s acting as a cop in movies. I said, ‘Well, I gotta keep this guy entertained somehow because if I wait for police, this thing may be over,’” Anderson told reporters.
“I thought about his negotiating tactics in ‘The Insider,'” he said. “I was like ‘Alright, I got to be the negotiator.’ I wanted to build a rapport with him. So I asked him his name, where he grew up. He says he’s got a house four blocks away from here.”
Gabel feared that the man might be intimidated by the police. It was obvious that he needed help, so the pair pulled a 12 pack from the back of the truck and offered the man a drink.
The gesture was enough to get the man distracted. They were able to keep him talking long enough for the police to cordon off the area. Eventually, the men were able to get the man to come back to the right side of the bridge.
“I felt relieved. I didn’t plan on saving anybody, but I knew when I saw him standing there I wasn’t going to leave until he came off,” Anderson said.
“The really good thing is the [delivery driver] saw what was going on, recognized a person in crisis and realized he could make a difference for him by stopping and talking,” St. Paul Police Sgt. Mike Ernster said.
One of the other officers joked that he would have to take what was left of the beer in as evidence.