New Jersey State Trooper Corey Beczo ’15 is being hailed a hero for his role in saving the life of a distraught teen who was attempting to jump from a highway overpass.
The dramatic scene unfolded on November 6 in Camden, New Jersey, with the teen balancing on a ledge, a crowd gathering on the highway below, and Beczo trying to convince the youth to come down.
“I kept telling him, ‘Give me your hand, I’ll take you anywhere you want to go.’”
Beczo was hired by the New Jersey State Police two years ago in July, a dream job just a few years after earning his degree in Justice Studies with a concentration in Justice Systems at Montclair State. “I’m truly humbled,” he says. “I never thought that opportunity [with the State Police] would ever happen.”
His shift had just begun the evening of the rescue. Based in Bellmawr, he’s the newest trooper on the squad and was the first to arrive on the scene, responding to a call of a teen hanging over the guardrail.
As a crowd began to grow below, Beczo saw an opening to act when the teen became distracted. “It was a now-or-never situation,” Beczo recalls.
The trooper wrapped his arms around the teen, and along with Trooper Brandon Muessig, pulled the teen to safety.
“There are times and places where things go the right way. If it didn’t, I would have been in trouble,” Beczo says.
News of the rescue came as no surprise to those who worked with Beczo at Campus Recreation. He revived the Men’s Club Volleyball team, was dedicated and “had a great attitude,” recalls Romayne Eaker-Kelly, director of Campus Recreation and Health Promotion.
“The Rec Center was basically my home,” Beczo recalls.
With Thanksgiving coming up, Beczo is grateful he could make a difference and plans to reach out to the youth, who was taken to a local hospital for treatment, to see how he is doing.
“It was one the moments that will make me work harder,” Beczo says.
The New Jersey State Police urges anyone experiencing a crisis that seems too much to bear to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or go to www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Story by Staff Writer Marilyn Joyce Lehren