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Nicholas Doddo ’17 Stopped a Man from Jumping off the Tappan Zee Bridge

Posted 08/05/2016
Posted by Rose Brodeur

Nicholas Doddo '17

Nicholas Doddo '17

Nicholas Doddo ’17 swears he’s not a hero. But what other word could you use to describe him after his quick thinking and instant reaction saved a man’s life? Nicholas, a management major in the Barney School of Business, was driving home to South Orange, N.J., from Connecticut on Friday, July 15. He was sitting in near standstill traffic on the Tappan Zee Bridge, a 293-foot structure that crosses the Hudson River in New York at one of its widest points. Suddenly, he saw a young man running full speed toward the side of the bridge. Without hesitation, Nicholas threw his car into park and sprinted across the highway after him.

“As I got closer, I realized he wanted to jump. He was straddling a barrier about six or seven feet off the ground,” Nicholas recalls. “He was just beginning to roll over the side when I grabbed him by his belt loop and the back of his shirt.” Nicholas placed the visibly distraught man on the ground and stayed with him until authorities arrived. He later learned the 21-year old man was on his way to a rehabilitation center.

Nicholas says he has been humbled by the experience.

“He’s 21 years old, and I’m 21. That caught me because our clock started at the same time. I couldn’t imagine what he’s going through that would push him to that point.“

Nicholas ponders the fact that had he not changed his routine during his lunch break at a summer job in Farmington, Conn., that day, he might not have been there to save the man.

“Every Friday, I get gas right after work and go home to Jersey, but for some reason, on that Friday, I filled up during lunch and then drove home. Something that simple would have put me five or ten minutes behind and I would have missed it all.”

Even though his efforts put him at great risk, Nicholas insists he just did what anyone else would do.

“At the core of this, there is still somebody who is struggling. I know, at the end of the day, we were both safe but nothing would make me happier than this turning into a triumph for him.”

Nicholas’s story is making regional news. See a sampling below: 

Monday, August 1:


Tuesday, August 2:


Thursday, July 28:


“College student, 21, who saves man from TZB jump 'humbled' by experience”

Monday, August 1:


“University of Hartford student pulls man off Tappan Zee bridge railing”

Tuesday, August 2:


“N.J. college student saves suicidal man on Tappan Zee, report says”


“N.J. college student saves suicidal man threatening to leap from Tappan Zee Bridge”

Wednesday, August 3


“UHart student saves man from jumping off New York bridge”

Nicholas Doddo '17

Nicholas Doddo '17