Friday afternoon, a 65-year-old Vietnam veteran found himself on the roof of The Granada — a nine-story residential building in Lower Nob Hill — plotting to take his own life. But a team of trained crisis intervention officers managed to persuade him from following through.
The intersection of Hyde and Sutter streets was blocked off and masked by police tape Friday afternoon, attracting curious passersby to investigate. An SFist reporter, who lives on the block, was on the scene — and they soon learned that an elderly San Franciscan was perched nearly 100ft above the sidewalk, debating whether or not to end their life.
(1/2) Earlier today, Crisis Intervention Trained (CIT) and Hostage/Crisis Negotiation Trained Officers saved the life of a suicidal Vietnam veteran threatening to jump off of a 9-story residential building. pic.twitter.com/SQvQlKosUM— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) July 3, 2021
According to a Twitter thread from the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), the department's team of "Crisis Intervention Trained (CIT) and Hostage/Crisis Negotiation Trained" officers ascended the building to coax the man from the ledge. Throughout the afternoon, his upper body would sway back and forth from the building's rooftop edge as he peered at the cement beneath; San Francisco Police were quick to let those passing through the area not worsen the situation by making a scene out of his distress and to simply continue their business as usual.
But after seven hours of patient and careful negotiation, the team was able to talk the man away from jumping and allow them to intervene; the veteran was then transported for medical treatment. A source close to SFist describes the man as having a history of mental health issues.
(2/2) Our officers spent 7 hours with him and were able to safely talk him off the ledge and taken to medical treatment. Thank you to everyone involved in this incident. You all saved a life today.— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) July 3, 2021
"Thank you to everyone involved in this incident," SFPD tweeted. "You all saved a life today."
The life-saving work from SFPD's CIT team and the officers trained with hostage/crisis negotiation techniques comes after the City announced its intent to fund police-free Street Crisis Response Team units to address non-violent incidents and mental health emergencies. (Though because this was an active suicide attempt, SFPD officers were required to be on site.)
San Francisco currently has six of these active teams in operation responding to non-emergency calls throughout the city. Each team operates seven days a week; most of their initial efforts were focused on serving the Tenderloin, Mission District, and the Castro.
Photo: Getty Images