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Homeless man thanks state trooper who talked him out of taking his own life

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Here's a story to warm your heart from the Minnesota State Patrol.

You might associate the State Patrol with responding to crash scenes, stopping drunken drivers, and pulling over speeders, but the job also requires troopers to show compassion to those in distress.

Trooper Shaun Leschovsky was on routine patrol in Minneapolis on Feb. 20 when he was called to reports of a suicidal homeless man at Washington Avenue by the Interstate 35W intersection.

He spoke with the man, providing whatever reassurance he would and promising him that he would get him some help. Help then arrived in the form of an ambulance to take the man to Region's Hospital.

He continued on with his shift, according to the State Patrol's Facebook page, and might have thought that was the end of it, but a few weeks later he bumped into the same man while at Bobby & Steve's Auto World and gas station, right next to the Washington and I-35W junction where they first met.

"You saved my life," the unnamed man told the trooper. "If it wasn't for you being there, I would have jumped off that bridge onto the freeway."

The State Patrol said the trooper then provided the man with a blanket donated by a local church, "and reassured him he was glad he was doing well and on a better path."

State patrol spokesperson Lt. Tiffani Nielson told BringMeTheNews that the state trooper was trained in "verbal de-escalation skills," but added that the trooper's experiences on the job also helped.

The story generated an overwhelmingly positive response among commenters on the State Patrol's Facebook page, with one of them, Dan Stromback, saying such understanding is regularly shown by law enforcement officials.

"Great things like this happen regularly, but the public doesn't hear it," he said. "As a retired police officer, witnessing similar compassionate and often lifesaving responses , I am honored to have worked side by side with Troopers just like this."

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