ITHACA, N.Y. –– Just before 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning Ithaca Police Officers responded to the Seneca Street Garage after it was reported that a man was standing precariously on the railing of the top level.

Officers said in a release that once on scene they were able to confirm the man had intentions of killing himself and that after some dialogue, were able to develop rapport with the subject and convince him to climb back over the cable railing to safety.

During the police intervention traffic was blocked in the area.

As a precaution, a member of the Ithaca-Tompkins Specialized Response Team set up rappelling equipment to, “secure officers on scene for their safety,” according to a law enforcement press release. The Ithaca-Tompkins Crisis Negotiation Team was also called to the scene to assist.

The man was transported in an unmarked car to a local area hospital for treatment.

“The response to this incident highlights the high level of professionalism and training possessed by Ithaca Police Officers, the Ithaca-Tompkins Specialized Response Team, and the Ithaca Tompkins Crisis Negotiations Team. Collectively they approached this individual with compassion and dignity and were able to work together in a safe environment to de-escalate this volatile situation and bring it to an optimal resolution,” IPD Chief John Joly said in a statement.

His statement continues, “I often field questions about why Ithaca needs a tactical team, and why do we have so many crisis negotiators. This is an example of the benefits of having highly trained Patrol officers that can competently demonstrate their specialized skills for the benefit of our community members. Today a life was saved.”

For Tompkins County residents facing an immediate mental health crisis, the local Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service hotline is available by calling (607) 272-1616. More information on mental health resources in Tompkins County can be found here.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at