Greensboro police officer recounts saving life of man in mental distress along I-40

North Carolina

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A Greensboro police officer saved a man’s life while he was having a mental health crisis on the side of a busy interstate.

On Oct. 20 around 9 a.m., Officer T.S. Emmons responded to a person sitting on the guard rail along eastbound Interstate 40 near Gate City Boulevard.

“He was paranoid, he was agitated, saying a bunch of things,” Emmons said. “I was trying to get him away from the travel lane because he was walking right on the yellow line.”

Emmons tried to calm the man.

“Cars were swerving and he almost got hit a few times before I could get him away,” he said.

He used the skills he learned in the Police Academy.

“All of the sudden he decided to jump into traffic and I jumped with him,” Emmons said. “I was able to grab ahold of him, bring him back over to the shoulder and just kind of hold him there until other officers could arrive because he was still trying to get back up and go into traffic.”

He eventually calmed the man down.

“It was probably maybe like two minutes but it felt like a lifetime,” he said. “I think he recognized that he needed help once he realized we were there to help him not harm him.”

Emmons told FOX8 no matter the situation, never hesitate to pick up the phone and ask for help.

“Reach out, don’t feel ashamed to reach out,” he said. “There’s always somebody willing to talk to you.”

Emmons plans to sign up for more training dedicated to similar situations.

If you see someone dealing with a mental health crisis call 911 immediately.

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