SAN FRANCISCO — Tensions were high on Wednesday during a standoff between a suspected car thief, who was clinging from a third-floor window, threatening to jump, and the San Francisco Police Department.
The man had run into the building, then up to the third floor, where he threatened to jump out a window after it was discovered during a traffic stop that he was driving a stolen vehicle.
Trained negotiators urged the man to climb back inside and surrender peacefully for over three hours, to no avail.
Then family members showed up with the man’s pet cat.
The orange-and-white cat was handed over to negotiators, who were on a fire escape next to the suicidal man. The negotiators let the man see his cat.
Within 45 minutes, the man had gone back inside the building and exited without incident.
Officials stated that they don’t believe a pet cat has been used before to prevent a suicide attempt, though family members of the human variety are often called to talk to suicidal people.
Once the man was in handcuffs and placed in a police car, officers let him see his cat before taking him to jail.