A pair of NYPD detectives spent around two hours Monday talking a suicidal woman off the edge of the Kosciuszko Bridge, according to police.
That morning, police arrived about 11:30 a.m. to find the 45-year-old Brooklyn resident on top of a pipe on the outside of the bridge, which connects Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with Queens.
Two detectives—Meghan Kinsella, a 14-year veteran who works as a domestic violence officer, and Steven Stefanakos, a 24-year veteran who has spent 20 of those years with the Emergency Service Unit—moved into action to try to talk the woman out of taking her life.
At first, according to police, the woman wasn’t responsive to either of the detectives as they took turns engaging her in conversation.
“I tried to convince her that no matter what, we would be with her every step of the way,” Kinsella said. “He would talk and I would talk. I didn’t even realize I was there for two hours. I was completely focused on her.”
When Stefanakos, who is an instructor with the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit and teaches officers how to interact with emotionally disturbed people in crisis, mentioned the possibility of the woman having a family or children, she grabbed back onto the wire, authorities said.
“I told her, ‘I don’t know what is going on and what is happening with you, but give us [a] chance to talk to you,’” he said.
Kinsella also told the woman, who is a mother of one, that she was strong enough to get through the situation, and the detectives were finally able to convince her to come off the edge of the bridge.
As video footage of the rescue released by police shows, officers were able to pull the woman to safety, and EMS took her to Elmhurst Hospital for treatment.
“It’s a huge relief. It actually is euphoric because you made a difference in somebody’s life, right there and then,” Stefanakos said.
“I’m a mom so I just wanted to get her home safe with her family,” Kinsella added.