(KMSP) - People have been sharing a beer to make a connection since the drink was invented. But, on the Earl Street Bridge over Interstate 94 in St. Paul, the desire to do just that may have saved a life.
On Wednesday, two beer delivery men were just making the rounds when they saw a man hanging onto the outside of a fence around the corner.
“It was heartbreaking to see someone that way,” said delivery man Jason Gabel.
Once Gabel and his partner Kwame Anderson realized the man was suicidal, Anderson called 911 and tried to talk him off the ledge.
"I thought about Denzel Washington when he's acting as a cop in movies. I said, ‘well, I gotta keep this guy entertained somehow because if I wait for police, this thing may be over,’" Anderson said, referencing the hit film "Inside Man."
For the next hour, the beer salesman made his pitch - even after police arrived.
"I could feel tension in the air; he was intimidated by white cops. I said my helper is an extremely intelligent guy, I said I think we can talk this guy off the ledge,” Gabel said.
After asking the man if he wanted to have a drink with him, Anderson ran to his truck and grabbed a 12-pack - and used it to lure him to safety.
“I felt relieved. I didn't plan on saving anybody, but I knew when I saw him standing here I wasn't going to leave until he came off," he said.
Police are now praising the pair for being good Samaritans.
“The really good thing is the person driving by saw what was going on, recognized a person in crisis and realized he could make a difference for him by stopping and talking," said Sergeant Mike Ernster with St. Paul Police.
Anderson, who is also a local comedian, said the man is welcome at his shows anytime.
“I told him if he needs a laugh, invite him out to one of my comedy shows,” Anderson added. “If he comes, I'll make sure he has a beer and has a good night.”