HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Body camera footage shows Officer Justin Martin racing up the stairs as he pursues an emotionally disturbed man at the Whitney Center in Hamden last Friday.
“I just wanted to catch up to him. I didn’t want him to hurt himself. I didn’t want to lose sight of him and I didn’t know the building so I wanted to make sure that I was able to catch up to him,” said Martin.
As the video progresses, Martin makes his way to a rooftop terrace. As he steps outside, the man can be seen attempting to jump a railing, a potential fall that would have landed him six floors down.
“I was able to grab his foot and he had a belt on so I was able to pull him up enough to get the belt, my other hand onto his belt and I got both hands on his waist and I was able to pull him up after that,” said Martin.
The rescue took place after staff members alerted police to a combative resident. The senior living complex is a combination assisted and independent living community. CEO and President Mike Rambarose says the incident took place on the independent side.
“We thankfully had the Hamden Police Department show up and they were very instrumental, very helpful in helping resolve the issue,” said Rambarose.
Martin’s body camera was on for the entire call. That is standard procedure for all 109 sworn members of the Hamden Police Department. They’ve been using body cameras for four years.
Martin says as an officer you never know what will happen during a call. Seeing the outcome of this one played back after the fact shows just how quickly they have to react.
“I knew it was a high risk situation for the gentleman but after watching the video I was like, oh man, that really just happened,” said Martin.
The man in the video was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital for evaluation. As for Officer Martin’s hero moment caught on camera, he says he didn’t do anything any other officer wouldn’t have done as well.
“Everyone got to go home safe and everything worked out well. I was able to help the community that day and I’m really glad it turned out that way,” said Martin.