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Security officer, PSP troopers save man from fall from Reading Hospital parking garage

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 29 2013 04:37:35 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 30 2013 01:26:15 PM CDT

A daring rescue was caught on camera Sunday as a man on the edge of a parking garage was pulled to safety.

WEST READING, Pa. -

A daring rescue was caught on camera Sunday as a man on the edge of a parking garage was pulled to safety.

Reading Hospital officials and Pennsylvania State Police troopers saved the man's life after he attempted to hurt himself, said police.

The man, who was discharged from the emergency department, climbed onto the hospital's 5th Avenue parking garage just before 9 a.m. Sunday.

Scott Reeser, a security officer at Reading Hospital, saw the man sitting on the edge when he reportedly closed his eyes and fell backwards.

"Luckily, I was within arms reach of him. I grabbed him by the shirt and he started to wrestle a little bit with me because he didn't want me to stop him," said Reeser, who's been with the hospital for three years.

According to Reeser, the man's body was completely over the edge. He was holding him under the arms, but he started to slip.

"I was no longer able to hold him, just kind of tossed him to the left and he only fell about 10 feet and landed on the ledge," said Reeser, adding that the man landed safely, just missing a two-foot hole.

Jennifer Trampos was at the guest services desk and saw Reeser struggle. She let out a scream and immediately called 911.

Pennsylvania State Police responded and took over.

"I walked to the edge where he's at over the wall, and I try to engage him in conversation just so he's focused on me," said Cpl. Douglas Bendetti, a 23-year veteran.

His body was hanging almost entirely off the edge. Tpr. Edgardo Lugo scaled the wall to the ledge, and within seconds he pulled him up with all his strength.

"It's the adrenaline rush, so I did not feel his weight, I just yanked him back onto the roof," said Lugo.

Lugo's back leg was only inches from the hole, but managed to pull him to safety. Tpr. Brian Jasinski also scaled the wall, and both men were able to restrain the man without giving him the opportunity to fight back.

"I think that's the success part. We weren't waiting around for something to happen. We made it happen," said Jasinski.

Everyone involved was happy no one was hurt. The man was still at the hospital undergoing observation Monday afternoon.  He has since been discharged.