Rescuer talks man out of taking his own life - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Rescuer talks man out of taking his own life

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A Thomasville man is undergoing a mental evaluation after being rescued from the top of a building that's being demolished. Rescuers arrived to the old Sunny Land meat packing building on Cassidy Road in Thomasville around 8:30 Thursday morning and began working to rescue Walter Mintz from the building being demolished.

Mintz said he’d been living there. Rescuers worried that a fire truck and ladder, wouldn't be right for the job. "It was very difficult to get a vehicle into the place where the man had to be rescued from,” said Lt. Eric Hampton

A city worker mowing the cemetery next door noticed Mintz on top of the building and called police. "Any number of things could have happened, if we had not rescued him off of that building,” said Hampton.

Since the site is being torn down, several areas aren't secure and rescuers had to scale pipes. When they reached Mintz, he told them he wanted to jump. One officer in particular was able to make a connection.

"I got down on the roof with him, kept my distance, then he became irate in regards to all of the officers, I made him feel comfortable by asking the other officers to leave," said Sergeant Heath Champion.

Once officer Heath Champion got Mintz to open up about the issues that led him to want to end his life, he backed away from the ledge and cooperated long enough for rescuers to get a bucket truck in to save him.

“Saying the right thing at the right time to keep him from doing something that he would regret, or something that I would have had to look back and think how could I have handled that differently,” Champion says crisis training really came in handy.

Mintz was transported to Archbold to undergo mental evaluation and will be charged for trespassing.

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