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Raleigh officer talks man off edge of overpass, hugs him

Posted September 10, 2015

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— A Raleigh Police officer is not only credited with saving a man's life on Wednesday, but also with showing the man some compassion.

Officer Dan Hicks found a man sitting on the edge of an Interstate 440 bridge over Wade Avenue on Wednesday evening. He said he gave the man his first name, told him he was there to help and simply asked the man to come off the bridge with him.

Hicks said he tried not to focus on what could happen in the situation – the man could fall or jump, hurting himself or others driving beneath the bridge – saying he tried to relate to the man as a person, not as a police officer. When the man agreed to back off the ledge, he instinctively pulled him in in for a hug.

"He got a big old Dan Hicks bear hug, whether he wanted it or not," Hicks said. "The other part of it was he was not going to be given the opportunity to go over that bridge again. He got to stand there with me for a second and get that hug. Call it tactical, call it compassionate, I think it was probably both."

The man got some mental health help after the incident, Hicks said.

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  • K Hope Capps Sep 11, 2015
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    Well done, Officer Hicks!

  • Terry Lightfoot Sep 11, 2015
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    very nice job Officer Hicks - the whole community benefits from actions like yours

  • Rachel Parrish Sep 11, 2015
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    I'm so glad that the media is finally saying something positive about law enforcement.

  • Phyllis Nunn Sep 10, 2015
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    What an amazing person!! Thank you, Officer Hicks!

  • Anne Havisham Sep 10, 2015
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    Well done, Officer Hicks! Whether that was training, instinct, and/or compassion, it sounds as though you dealt with that situation perfectly.

    Both Jewish and Muslim scriptures say that the person who saves one life is of equal status to the person who saves the entire world.