Officers talk man from edge

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 05:19 PM

A Henderson police officer averted a crisis situation Friday morning that could have resulted in a man’s death.

At around 6 a.m. Friday, members of the Henderson Police Department Operations Division were dispatched to the bridge on Dabney Drive that crosses over Interstate 85.

A call was made to 911 that there was a man on the bridge, and it appeared that he might jump.

“You hope that the situation never comes about,” Chief Marcus Barrow said. “But if this situation does eventually come about, you hope the officer has the ability to handle it well.”

Officers Deric Wormley and John R. Hammond arrived at the scene and stopped traffic on Dabney Drive and Interstate 85.

The officers approached the man and began speaking with him. 

In less than three minutes, Hammond convinced the man to take his hand and come back over the rail of the bridge without incident.

Hammond said he was focused on safety above all else.

“The safety of him and safety of others on the highway were the main focus on my mind,” he said. “I’m happy the situation turned out for the best and everybody went home safely.”

The man was then transported to a local medical facility for treatment and evaluation. 

“Officer Hammond was professional, and I am extremely proud of the way he handled it,” Barrow said. “He was able to diffuse the situation and get him off the edge of the bridge. Hopefully, this won’t happen again with this gentleman.”

Hammond said individuals experiencing mental health issues should not hesitate to call law enforcement.

“We will get them the help they need,” he said. “That is what we are here for, and people should feel free to call the police.”

Contact the writer at