MARIETTA, Ga. - Marietta police are crediting three officers and a bystander with saving the life of a distraught woman hanging from the fifth floor of a motel earlier this month.
Officer Amelia Hines and Recruit Officer Matthew Abkemeier were first to arrive at the Motel 6 along Delk Road on Sept. 13 just before 6 p.m. K-9 Officer A. Johnson joined the pair shortly after.
"Lean back, it's okay, lean back, talk to me," Officers Hines could be heard yelling at the woman as she rushed up the stairs. "Lean back! Lean back!"
"I was kind of reaching out to her, talking to her, just telling her to ‘lean back,’ and to step back over the railing and not to jump," said Officer Hines.
Bodycam video captured their swift efforts. The video shows Officer Hines and Recruit Abkemeier climbing the stairs to the 23-year-old woman, who was outside the guardrail, her feet on the ledge and her hands gripping the rail as she leaned forward over the parking lot.
"It is clear that this woman was suffering a mental crisis and in dire need of immediate mental health assistance," Marietta police wrote on their Facebook page.
Several bystanders were there trying to get her to come back onto the other side, but she didn’t appear to be responding.
"We don't even know you, but we love you," her neighbors were telling her in the video.
"We had to make that… a split-second decision on whether or not we were going to grab her," Officer Abkemeier said.
The officers took advantage of her turning away to swoop in and grab her by the arms.
"I just lunged for her and grabbed her," Officer Hines said.
"Come here, come here, come here," Officer Hines could be heard saying in the video as they rushed to grab the woman.
"Hoping that the railing doesn't collapse and we all go over," said Officer Hines.
"Adrenaline is pumping, heart rate is up, And you know, your grips start to slip," Officer Abkemeier said.
"I'm just hoping we have the strength to pull her up over that railing and get her to safety," said Officer Hines.
Police said once the officer secured, she let her body weight drop. Officer Johnson, who was on the fourth floor, pushed the woman’s feet up and a bystander, identified as Mr. Bush, came to help the officers in pulling the struggling woman back over the railing.
"I felt a few of them grab onto my pistol belt and keep me from going over," Officer Abkemeier said. "I would have gone over with her, especially if the other's grips would have slipped."
"Had it not been for the swift actions of Officers and Mr. Bush this woman would not be alive today," police wrote.
The officer said they were glad they were able to help a woman who was clearly going through the worst day of her life.
"As police officers, we see people at their worst, and if we have a day where we are able to provide someone that health and safety, it feels great," Officer Abkemeier said. "So, that's where my joy comes from, knowing that we were able to protect at life."
"That's the job though, that's to go out here and do good things," said Officer Hines.
The woman was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital for evaluation and treatment.