BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy in Deerfield Beach is credited with saving the life of a suicidal teenager who was threatening to jump from a highway overpass.
Around 12 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, deputies responded to the report of a teenage boy sitting over traffic on the Interstate 95 overpass near Northwest 48th Street.
Deputy Darnell Hernandez was the first deputy to arrive and found the boy, visibly upset and crying, sitting on the ground with his feet hanging over the passing traffic below.
Dep. Hernandez immediately recognized the situation as a potential suicide attempt and called for units to shut down the southbound lanes of traffic on Interstate 95 and for Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue to respond.
As the deputy began to approach, the teen moved closer to the edge of the overpass. However, Dep. Hernandez began to speak to him and was able to develop a rapport with him.
“I didn’t want to make any fast moves. I walked closer to him and asked him his name. I told him that people care about him, don’t do this, people care about you. As I was talking to him, I called in to get units to shut down I-95 southbound and have Fire Rescue respond,” Dep. Hernandez said.
The teen expressed that he wanted to harm himself due to family problems and had previously had these types of thoughts.
“He had headphones on, so I asked him to take them off. I kept saying, ‘people care about you, don’t do this.”
The boy then started to move his feet back onto the sidewalk where Dep. Hernandez safely and securely got the young man off the ledge.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.