San Diego police sergeant saves man's life on overpass above Interstate 805 in San Ysidro

Posted at 11:23 AM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 15:31:02-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego police sergeant spoke to 10News about her efforts to stop a man from jumping from a freeway overpass Tuesday morning.

Just after 5 a.m., SDPD Sgt. Brigitta Belz arrived at the scene to find an unidentified man threatening to jump from the overpass above Interstate 805 at San Ysidro Blvd.

As Belz approached, the man told her and other fellow officers to leave. But Belz did not, and she began trying to talk him out of jumping.

"He turns around and is standing like I think he's going to fall backwards," Belz told 10News.

Belz asked for I-805 and San Ysidro Blvd. to be shut down so emergency crews could prepare for the worst. At one point, Belz said the man put both legs over the railing.

Belz continued to talk to the man, and he eventually changed his mind.

Officers placed the man in handcuffs and took him in for a medical evaluation.

In the end, an emotional Belz got a hug from a negotiator at the scene.

While she has been on the job for more than 25 years, saving someone's life in this manner was a first for Belz.

"I'm not a hero though," Belz said. "The best outcome was that he didn't jump. That's the best you can hope for."

Belz has two daughters, ages 19 and 21. Her 19-year-old wants to be a police officer, and Belz said she'll tell her today was a good day on the job.