NYC
05/23/2011 04:38 pm ET Updated Jul 23, 2011

Man Attempts Suicide On The Williamsburg Bridge (Slideshow)

Rescuers saved a despondent Manhattan man from jumping off the Williamsburg Bridge on Saturday.

"Tell my mother I love her," the unidentified 39-year-old told police officers, as he threatened to plunge himself 80 feet off a thin ledge above Berry Street in Brooklyn, according to the New York Post.

Witnesses called 911 at 11:15 in the morning to report that someone had climbed the fence along the pedestrian walkway on the Brooklyn side of the bridge and appeared ready to jump. Police arrived moments later.

As two members of the NYPD's Emergency Service Unit climbed the fence and inched towards the man, he warned them he would jump if they came any closer, reports the New York Times.

Drew Catlin, a local photographer who witnessed the incident, told Brooklyn365, "The NYPD had an inflatable stunt cushion underneath him. The jumper kept checking where it was and positioning himself over the pavement instead. The NYPD diligently moved the pad underneath him."

After three hours of talking to the man, and as a large crowd gathered on the streets below, the police made a move and grabbed him. He fought back, struggling to wriggle free, but eventually the officers overtook him, pulling him to safety through a hole they cut in the fence.

The man was distraught over 'family issues' involving child care, reports the Times, and not the possible 'end of the world'

Catlin, who photographed the whole debacle, commented in his Facebook photo album: "Hours of watching. Far too many children. Far too much laughing. Only one asshole yelled jump, and only once. At the end, when they hauled him in and he attempted to wriggle free, my heart was racing and my hands were shaking."

Check out some of Catlin's photos below, or visit his Facebook page for more.

All photos courtesy of Drew B. Catlin. [VIA]