VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Collin Dozier was driving home around midnight on April 25 when he noticed a car pulled over on the Lesner Bridge.
The lights were flashing but the driver wasn’t inside, or even nearby. He was leaning over the railing, staring down at the river below.
Dozier says he felt God calling him to help so he parked his car, and made his way up to the peak of the bridge.
“I basically was like ‘hey man what’s going on?’ He didn’t look at me, didn’t say a word and at that point I knew there was a serious problem,” Dozier recalled.
Dozier says at that moment, he realized the troubled 27-year-old was trying to commit suicide.
Despite no response, Dozier stayed up there trying to talk to him, and about 20 minutes later, police showed up.
However, that’s when the man panicked, and flipped to other side of the railing facing the water.
“He was like leave us alone right now or there’s going to be two murders tonight, I’ve got a gun on my waist band I’m going to kill you both,” Dozier said.
But instead of backing up, Dozier inched closer.
“I had the peace of God over me, like I don’t even know how to explain it, there wasn’t a single doubt that I should walk away at that point,” he stated.
When the man took a brief second to close his eyes, Dozier used his college wrestling skills to scoop him up.
“I grabbed around him and pinched my elbows in and lifted him up,” Dozier stated.
From there, police secured the man and brought him to a rehab facility, where he stayed for over a week.
Dozier later connected with the man, and found out he’d taken a mixture of cocaine, heroin, and meth to overdose, so when he hit the water he’d fall unconscious and never wake up.
“He said ‘man just think of it, if you were going on the other side of the bridge, you would have never found me’ and I said ‘I was going on the other side of the bridge, but I saw you and I came back for you and I know that really touched his heart,'” Dozier said.
Dozier’s actions had such a big influence on the man that he started going to church with him every Sunday.
He’s also been sober for 3 weeks now, and before that Dozier said he hadn’t been sober one day in 10 years.
The man has also scheduled a day to be baptized.
On Wednesday, Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer will honor Dozier with the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Award.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.