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Passerby Talks Suicidal Man Down from Edge of Bridge

Anthony Brown was driving across a bridge over Interstate 40 when he spotted a stranger in distress. Brown said, “My first thought was I needed to help him, because we are here to love and care for one another on this earth.” Having lost his brother to suicide, Brown knew he couldn’t ignore the suicidal stranger. Seeing that others were driving by without stopping, he quickly turned his car around, pulled over, and gently approached the man.

The distressed man initially claimed there was nothing Brown could do to help him. Yet when Brown opened up about his personal experience with suicide, the man listened. Brown said, “I let him know that I was not there to judge him and that I cared for him. I also told him about my brother that committed suicide. He was shocked that a stranger stopped and cared enough about his wellbeing.” As the pair talked, empathy blossomed. The distressed man opened up to Brown. Slowly but surely the man had retreated from the edge of the bridge and followed him back to his car.

Asheville police arrived on the scene to escort the distressed man to a hospital for medical support. Officer Garetto said, “Anthony tried to leave and not make a big deal of this, but I had to get his name, because I am confident without Anthony stopping and talking with the man, he may have possibly jumped before officers arrived on scene.”

Brown, who does not see himself as a hero, was recognized by the Asheville city council a few days after his kind act. He said, “I felt honored, maybe the story can help someone else that is struggling with depression and suicide. If I was to meet [the distressed man] again, I would tell him that it is not his time to die yet, that God has bigger plans for him.”

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