A pair of beer-truck drivers used their cargo to help save a man’s life in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Aug. 15.
Jason Gabel and Kwame Anderson were driving their daily delivery route when they saw a man clinging to a fence on the Earl Street Bridge over Interstate 94 in St. Paul.
They realized the man was considering jumping to his death.
After calling 911, Gabel’s partner Kwamwe Anderson decided he couldn’t wait for someone else to come help.
“I thought about Denzel Washington when he’s acting as a cop in movies. I said, ‘well, I gotta keep this guy entertained somehow because if I wait for police, this thing may be over,’” Anderson said.
Gabel and Anderson needed to buy time—so they grabbed a cold 12-pack and offered to share a beer with the despondent man.
Jumper Didn’t Respond to Police
When the police arrived, Gabel realized that they might not be the best people to handle that specific situation.
“I could feel tension in the air; he was intimidated by white cops,” Gabel said. Gabel realized he needed to convince the police to let the amateurs take a shot.
“I said, ‘I think he can talk this guy off the ledge, so could you guys just step back a little bit, let my partner talk to him’?”
Anderson is also a comedian—he was uniquely equipped to engage and win over an uncooperative audience which was drinking.
Anderson used the offer a cold beer to lure than man off the ledge and back to solid pavement.
It took an hour of comedy and conversation, but in the end, the would-be jumper decided he’d rather have a cold one and a few laughs than end it all painfully.
“I felt relieved. I didn’t plan on saving anybody, but I knew when I saw him standing here I wasn’t going to leave until he came off,” Anderson told Fox.
“I told him if he needs a laugh, invite him out to one of my comedy shows,” Anderson added. “If he comes, I’ll make sure he has a beer and has a good night.”
Sgt. Mike Ernster of the St. Paul Police Department praised the pair for being willing to help a fellow human being in a time of need.
“The really good thing is the person driving by saw what was going on, recognized a person in crisis and realized he could make a difference for him by stopping and talking,” Sgt. Ernster explained to Fox.