FORT LEE, N.J. -- An Edgewater man who police said appeared intent on "suicide by cop" when he pointed a replica handgun at them while climbing over a George Washington Bridge railing Friday morning was saved from jumping from the bridge 10 years ago, sources told Daily Voice.
"That first time, an officer grabbed him by the ankles before he could over [the side]," a law enforcement officer with direct knowledge of the incident said.
This time, 37-year-old Douglas Peck pointed the pellet gun -- which resembles a 9mm Baretta issued to the military -- at a Port Authority police officer who found him on the south walkway around 10:15 a.m., authorities said.
Pointing the gun, Peck climbed over the railing, 220 or so feet above the Hudson River.
"He wanted to get shot," a responder at the scene told Daily Voice. "He pointed the gun at police. One of them had his gun drawn and [Peck] looked him right in the eye."
Peck, who's divorced, has had longstanding personal issues, the responder said.
The drama began when Palisades Parkway Police got a tip that Peck was headed to the bridge to jump, sources told Daily Voice.
Port Authority Officer Robert Wallace, a nine-year veteran, began talking with Peck after finding him holding the pellet gun.
"Wallace did a heck of a job," a colleague said.
He was joined by 10-year veteran Officer Javier Cerna of the Emergency Services Unit.
Peck eventually put down the gun and agreed to surrender as backups crept toward him, weapons drawn.
Then as they went to help him, he let go.
Some officers were tied to their trucks, but others weren't, witnesses said.
"Suddenly he was fighting [with the officers]," a responder said.
The ensuing struggle played out on local television, as choppers flew over the bridge, capturing the action, while police pulled Peck to safety.
He was taken to Bergen Regional Medical Center, the Port Authority's Joseph Pentangelo told Daily Voice.
The bridge's upper level was reopened in both directions just before 11 a.m.
It was the 13th "intervention" for authority police on the GWB so far this year. Two people have jumped to their deaths from the span in 2017.
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