Man Saves Stranger From Jumping Off Bridge

MATTHEWS, N.C. – An out of the ordinary scene on Weddington Road Sunday. One driver called 911 to report what she saw: “It’s a lady standing on the bridge. She looks like she was crying as I went under it. I don’t know if she’s contemplating something.”

For the record, it was a 28-year-old man with long hair, not a lady. And driver Brad Heard says he immediately knew something was wrong. “He just had a look that something wasn’t OK,” he tells WCCB New @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty.

So Brad stopped. Rolled down his window. Offered the stranger a cigarette. And asked if he wanted to talk. Right in the middle of the bridge over 485.

He says, “A lot of people were mad about me holding up traffic.” They didn’t know what Brad knew in an instant about the man, who was sitting on the bridge ledge, dressed in socks and a paper hospital-type top. “He was definitely about to jump,” and then, “I don’t think the cops would recommend that people do what I did in that same situation.”

What 31-year-old Brad did next was, he says, pure gut instinct. Brad was out of his car by then, telling this stranger that he cared about him. So were a few other people who’d also stopped. Brad says, “As soon as they started talking to him again, and distracted him, I just went.”

Brad tackled the man to the ground. Off the ledge. Out of harm’s way. No easy task, proven by his badly scraped up knee. Brad’s message for the man: “Things get better. I hope that he won’t be mad at me.”

And his message for everyone else: “Everybody deserves to feel cared about.”

The whole ordeal only lasted about five minutes. Matthews Police arrived just after Brad tackled the man off the ledge. Police took the man to the hospital.