How 2 Women Talked a Man Out of Suicide: 'Please Don't Do This'
Jen Principe and Toni Musso told Inside Edition they couldn't leave the man behind when they saw him walk out onto a busy 101 freeway overpass.
"Toni looks up and she's like, 'Holy s***,'" Principe told Inside Edition. "'Oh my God, is that guy going to jump off the bridge?'"
They passed under the overpass and called 911, but Principe insisted they turn around, recalling a CNN interview she'd heard just days before with Kevin Hines, who tried to take his own life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge and miraculously survived. Hines is now a suicide prevention speaker.
"[He said,] had anybody tried to stop him, ... he wouldn't have jumped," Principe said.
She couldn't leave the man behind. So they pulled off the freeway and drove up to the overpass. By the time they got there, the man was hanging onto the freeway's railing, said Principe.
"The first thing I said was, 'We love you, please don't jump,'" Principe said.
"He pretty much locked on to my eyes and I just started telling him that I know he feels like he's in such despair, but tomorrow's going to be a new day," Musso told Inside Edition. "... I just begged him, 'Please don't do this.'"
As sirens began ringing out, the man feared he would be arrested, Musso said, but she vowed to him that she would take care of him.
"I grabbed the rail with him and I grabbed on to his hands and I said, 'Just walk with me,'" she said. Slowly, Musso led the man off the overpass. At one point, he seemed to realize how high up he was and panicked, she recalled, but she looked him in the eye and said, "We're going to get off this bridge together."
Authorities arrived but did something uncharacteristic: They let Musso and Principe take the lead.
Once the man was off the overpass, officials led him away, but he was able to thank the two women before they did. He was then taken to the hospital for observation.
Inside Edition spoke to Hines, who praised the women for taking action in the man's time of need.
"I could not speak out, I needed them to reach in," Hines said of his own suicide attempt. "... I said, 'Absolutely nobody cares.'" So he jumped, and "the millisecond my hands left the rail, all I wanted to do is live."
Hines survived the attempt, but he's one of the few who did.
"I think if we can be bystanders ... and do something when we see something that seems off, just like Jen did, just like Toni did, they saved a life," Hines said. "That is powerful."
Additional reporting by Kerry Maller.
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