Rapper T.I. Is Latest Star to Stop Suicide

Rapper T.I. is the latest star to make moves against suicide.

October 14, 2010, 8:01 AM

Oct. 14, 2010 — -- T.I. is the latest star making moves to save lives: On Wednesday, the rapper helped talk down a man who was about to leap from the ledge of a 22-story building.

The 30-year-old hip-hop star (real name: Clifford Harris) heard about the situation on the radio and drove to the scene at Atlanta's 400 Colony Square Building, which is also home to urban contemporary radio station V-103. On the way, he called V-103 radio personality Ryan Cameron.

"He was leaving his house which is about 45 minutes from the station and heard me talking about the situation," Cameron told ABCNews.com today. "He then called my cell phone and said 'Hey, you think maybe I could come by and help?'"

Cameron said T.I. arrived by himself, no bodyguards, no entourage. He then told authorities he wanted to get involved.

"He said, 'Sometimes people need to be able to relate to somebody who is not a police person," Cameron said.

An officer at the building's street level used a cell phone to record a video message from T.I. and gave it to a negotiator on the roof, who showed it to the 24-year-old man. Shortly after, the man stepped back from the ledge. He later talked with T.I. in the building's lobby before being taken to Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The man's name has yet to be released, though T.I. called him "Joshua" in an interview with V-103.

Afterwards, T.I. told reporters that the man "seemed to be beat up by life" and added, "Something in me just said, 'Man you gotta try and help. You gotta do whatever you can.'"

T.I. said the message simply stated "that I was here and I was looking forward to meeting him and that no matter what's going on in life now, it gets better."

Police appreciated his efforts.

"[T.I.] didn't have to stop. He could've kept on going about his business," Atlanta police officer James Polite told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "We're happy it ended the way it did, and we thank him."

The good deed could give T.I. a dose of helpful image rehab. He's due in court Friday for a parole hearing after being arrested on suspicion of drug possession last month in Los Angeles. Last year, he spent a year in jail on federal weapons charges; he remains on supervised release.

But T.I. doesn't want praise for his intervention.

"I'm not taking any credit," T.I. told Cameron in an interview after the incident. "It could have been resolved in another way. The fact of the matter is God put me in a position, and put in my spirit to be in the position to help, and I can't take any credit for that.

T.I.'s not the first star to intervene in a suicide attempt.

In 1994, Howard Stern led authorities to a man who called into his radio show while poised to jump off the George Washington Bridge.

Last year, Demi Moore and her Twitter followers helped authorities find a woman who tweeted a message to Moore detailing the way in which she was planning to take her life.

And in the wake of at least five teenage boys who committed suicide after being tormented for being gay, a slew of celebrities have uploaded videos to YouTube offering support to LGBT teenagers, including Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, Perez Hilton and Kim Kardashian.

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