British-Canadian professional wrestler Davey Boy Smith Jr. is crediting his “years of grappling” for helping him save a woman hanging from a Calgary bridge.
Smith Jr., whose legal name is Harry Smith, said in a Facebook post he was driving along 16 Avenue N.W. on Sunday night when he spotted a woman crying and hanging off a bridge near Bowness Road N.W.
He said he stopped and tried speaking with her, but she threatened to jump if he got any closer.
“I decided to grab a hold of her and not take any chances,” Smith Jr. said in the post. “She started to slide and want to go more as I grabbed a hold her.”
“Luckily [from] my years of grappling and self-defense I knew how to grab her hard and how to pull her up from hanging off and jumping.”
The wrestler said he managed to pull the woman up and got on top of her to prevent her from trying to jump.
Smith Jr. said he was able to hold the woman down until police arrived.
“I really believe if I wasn’t there and been able to grab her she would have jumped.”
“It was a really emotional day actually,” Smith Jr. told Global News. “As many of the championships I’ve won in professional wrestling, saving somebody’s life means…so much more to me.”
“I hope the girl finds some inner peace within herself and I was glad to be at her service yesterday.”
He described it as a scary experience.
“It was like something out of a movie, when someone is hanging off the side or you’ve got them by the arm or off the side of the cliff.”
“I felt like it was the right thing to do to save her life,” he said. “Luckily I have a lot of strength from genetics and from wrestling and doing jiu-jitsu. It would have taken at least a few people to have hoisted her from dangling off the side of the bridge.”
Calgary police confirmed the incident unfolded as Smith Jr. described and said it happened on westbound 16 Avenue N.W. on the bridge over Bowness Road N.W. at around 6 p.m. on Sunday.
They said the woman was apprehended on a mental health warrant and transported to hospital.
If you are in distress, you can call the centre’s 24-hour crisis line at 403-266-4357 and click here for more information
The Calgary Distress Centre said the overall volume of calls/texts/emails it receives are up by 13 per cent compared to the same time last year. One per cent of the calls/texts/emails require emergency intervention, according to the centre.
A spokesperson told Global News suicide-related chats and texts by youth are 21 per cent of its contacts, adding more youth are reaching out for support after 10 p.m. when the centre’s chat/texts lines are open.
– With files from Jill Croteau