Two heroic teenagers have been praised after stopping a homeless man from jumping off a 20ft bridge by clinging onto him and refusing to let go.
Friends Casey Price and Sanchez Richards, both 15, were walking home from the funeral of a teenage classmate in Macclesfield, Cheshire, when they spotted the man threatening to kill himself.
The unnamed man, in his 60s, was planning to jump off the town’s Silk Road bridge, on February 28, while intoxicated.
Spotting him, the pair grabbed hold of him and refused to let go, telling him they weren’t prepared to see another person needlessly die, following the funeral they had just attended.
Shockingly, one woman apparently told the boys to ‘leave him and let him do what he wanted’ but the teens didn’t let go until police arrived, despite the man’s struggles to get free.
Casey said: ‘Some of the kids we had been with stayed on the other side of the road because they were quite scared and they didn’t want to get involved, but I just grabbed him and then another guy got out of his car and helped.
‘One woman got out of her car and told us just to leave him and let him do what he wanted, but we ignored her and I told Sanchez to ring the police.
‘I had hold of him but the man was saying “if you don’t get off me now I’m going to jump” and that’s literally all he kept saying.
‘He even started trying to unzip his coat to get us off.’
Inspired by the experience, Casey is now determined to find the homeless man permanent accommodation while Sanchez wants to become a paramedic.
The pair had been to the funeral of fellow Macclesfield Academy schoolmate, 13-year-old Tyler Wolstenholme, who died after being hit by a car while riding his bike in January.
Casey added: ‘I said to the man “I’m not just going to let go”.
‘I told him we had just been to one of our friend’s funeral and I said to him “if anything happens to you now then we will have to go to another one”.
‘We would have had to live the rest of our lives thinking it was our fault that we didn’t hold on tight enough.
‘Some of the kids were still underneath the bridge too so if he had thrown himself off they would have just seen someone drop and would have that image for the rest of their lives.’
Noticing that the man had suffered a cut to his hand and his face, Sanchez called police and paramedics to the scene.
Sanchez said: ‘I wasn’t really feeling anything, all I thought about was what would happen if he was to use all of his force.
‘I was just trying to blank out everything else and focus on what I had to do.
‘When my friend Tyler passed away, I got there 20 seconds after he had been hit and just to see the paramedics come and see how quickly they reacted was pretty inspirational.
‘It’s made me think that I’d like to do something like that.’
The mothers of the two teens have expressed great pride in their kids for using their initiative and helping another person in need.
Sanchez’s mum, Jules Frances said: ‘I’m so proud, he’s such a kind and considerate person, he always puts others first.
‘People often assume that because Sanchez is mixed race he is causing trouble.
‘Teenagers do have a negative reputation but they’re not like that when you get to know them.’
Casey’s mum, Sarah Price-Wood said: ‘Casey is very sensitive, she always has been.
‘I’m just really proud of her, I know that all of our kids would have got involved and tried to help, none of them would have just walked away, it’s what we have instilled in them,’ added the mum.
Police have thanked the teenagers, and another man who assisted at the scene, for their courageous actions.
Inspector Chris Adkins of Cheshire Police confirmed: ‘The man is now safe and well and receiving the support he needs.’