The hometown hero who convinced an apparently suicidal man not to jump from a city bridge tried to appeal to him by using “Brooklyn slang,” he told The Post on Wednesday.
“I wanted to give him that kind of friend feeling… at a time he needed a friend and no one was there for him,” said 29-year-old Joey Hansen.
“The first thing I called him was ‘boss,’ it’s kind of a Brooklyn slang thing,” said Hansen, adding he was trying “to make him feel comfortable when he was in distress.”
The plumber for union Local 1 was heading home from work in Manhattan Monday amid the snowstorm when he spotted the would-be jumper standing on top of the Brooklyn Bridge’s beams.
“I started giving him some inspiration telling him its not worth it,” said Hansen. “A lot of people were just looking and driving away.”
Heart-stopping video showed Hansen talking to the 24-year-old man, who was looking down as heavy traffic streamed below.
“Boss, walk back! It’s not worth your life! Get off the bridge!” Hansen could be heard saying in the 50-second clip.
“You can change anything in your life!” he yelled. “Anything! It’s not worth it! Turn around, bro!”
Hansen, who was born and raised in Bath Beach, said everything he told the man “came right from the heart.”
“I wanted to give him some wisdom that anything in life you can change, that his problems are not worth more than his life,” he said.
He could tell the man was listening because “he started getting emotional.”
“After about the second time I told him ‘you can change anything in your life, anything bro,’ he bent over and bent back up, then grabbed his face and looked like he was beginning to cry,” recalled Hansen.
“I knew he was truly listening because of his body language,” he continued. Then, “after he turned around and walked back I felt so relieved and happy with the outcome.”
The dramatic clip ended with the man turning around and crossing a catwalk. Shortly after, he was taken into custody by police and a civilian and transported to Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital for treatment, the NYPD said.
Police described him as emotionally disturbed.
“For me to make a difference in this person’s life, to give him the opportunity to continue [and] to be around for his family… I’m truly grateful that I was able to give him that,” said Hansen.
“I’m glad he made the right decision in a life or death situation to choose life, and I hope he gets the help he needs and goes on to prevail and be happy with himself.”
Additional reporting by Lia Eustachewich