David Katz, who plays for the New York Rugby Club and is also a New York State trooper, rescued a man trying to jump off the Tappan Zee Bridge Tuesday, November 20, 2012.
Katz, who has been a trooper for 13 years, told the Westchester Journal News that his rugby skills came into play as the delusional man tried to jump off the bridge.
"I'm a rugby player, so I basically just tackled him as if I was playing rugby," said Katz. "I think he was caught off guard."
Reports say the man was in a delusional state and thought he was being chased by the FBI and CIA.
Katz, 39, was called in as backup on the incident, and when he arrived the man, who weighed about 240 pounds, say reports, was straddling the 6-foot tall railing on the side of the bridge. After he got his second leg over, Katz charged.
"I had to make the decision at that point to take action, as he was pretty intent on going over," the trooper said. "I didn't really want him to see me coming. So I ran toward him, jumped up to the top of the guardrail and tackled him. Then we both went down to the ground."
The would-be jumper told Katz he was sorry; Katz just told the man he was not there to hurt him.
Katz has pulled several jumpers from the water in his career, some alive, some not. This is the first time he has been able to stop a jumper on the bridge.
"It's a positive experience," he said. "But I was just fulfilling my duties as a state trooper.
(Source, Westchester Journal News)