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Pinky-swear gets suicidal Florida teen off overpass ledge

‘We want to help you’
Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 1:38 PM CDT
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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (Gray News) – Faced with a suicidal teen sitting on the edge of a Florida overpass last week, a deputy sheriff turned to a powerful pledge from her childhood, the pinky-swear.

When Sgt. Kathleen Ela of the Orange County Sheriff's Office arrived, the teen said he was tired of life and wanted to jump off the bridge.

“We want to help you,” she told him in a body camera video posted to social media by the department. “Can I come sit by you by myself?”

The teen agreed and they began to talk. Ela sat on the ledge with him for 24 minutes.

After gaining his confidence, she offered him a pinky-swear that he wouldn’t be arrested.

Sealing the deal with their interlinked pinkies, he agreed to step off the ledge.

The sheriff’s department said deputies were able to get the teen the help he needed.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.

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