Social media -- a forum by which bullies have hounded troubled peers into committing suicide -- this week helped to save a teenager's life.
After Paterson, N.J. police were apprised by a caller on Tuesday that an 18-year-old Facebook friend had posted a picture of the George Washington Bridge and mentioned that he was contemplating suicide, they notified the Port Authority. Port Authority Patrol Sgt. Nadine Rhem and Lt. Thomas Michaels reached out to the New Jersey teen via their own Facebook accounts, offering words of comfort and asking the young man to contact them, said Port Authority spokesman Joseph Pentangelo.
The young man, who the Port Authority declined to identify, responded, and allowed officers to meet him as he was disembarking from a bus in Paterson. Police then took him for assessment and treatment at an area hospital. Cops using social media to help thwart a suicide, as opposed to solving a crime, "is really unprecedented," said Pentangelo.