Good Samaritan talks suicidal teen out of jumping from London Colney flyover

John Dickinson helped talk a 19 year old with mental health issues down from the London Colney bypas

John Dickinson helped talk a 19 year old with mental health issues down from the London Colney bypass where he was threatening to jump. - Credit: Archant

A suicidal man was prevented from jumping from a flyover after a passing good Samaritan talked him out of it.

John Dickinson helped talk a 19 year old with mental health issues down from the London Colney bypas

John Dickinson helped talk a 19 year old with mental health issues down from the London Colney bypass where he was threatening to jump. - Credit: Archant

The 19 year old, who is believed to have mental health issues, was on a day out with his carers at Nuffield Leisure Centre recently when he ran away and stood on the London Colney flyover.

John Dickinson, 36, of London Colney was walking past when he saw the young man who told him that he was going to jump.

John told the Herts Advertiser that he thought the young man was joking, and only realised that he was serious and had mental health issues after striking up a conversation.

He said: “My initial reaction was to say that this is not high enough because at the start I thought he was messing about. Then I realised it was serious and I got him talking.”


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John asked the teenager for some information about himself and then spoke to him about who he was and what he had done that day.

John added: “We were there for a good 20 minutes and there were people walking past but I didn’t want to panic him [so did not say anything to them].”

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John, who works in sales, said that he was surprised how he reacted and initially did not know what to say.

He said: “I was talking to him about anything, even what I was going to cook for dinner that night.”

By chance a police car drove past them and was stuck in traffic, so John went over to the car and gestured for the two police officers to help him.

He added: “I waved like crazy.”

The police officers came over and one put his arm around the distressed man to comfort him and prevent him from jumping.

John said: “He agreed to go in the police car and go back to the where he had been.

“My heart was beating like a clock. It was an extraordinary afternoon.”

PC Joel Gill from the St Albans Intervention Team said: “This kind passer-by took the time to stop and help the missing teenager, which meant that he was quickly and safely reunited with his carers and family.

“We’d like to thank the member of his public for his help in locating the missing teen.”

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