Around noon on Thursday, Greg Horton was out for a walk in London’s Springbank Park when he heard yelling in the distance.
“We saw this man seated on the swing and he was very clearly upset,” said the recreational therapist. “A lot of yelling and it seemed like he was hitting himself.”
Noticing a number of concerned parents at the park, Horton called 911 and told the dispatcher there was a man having a mental health crisis at the park.
“I didn’t want it to get to the point where people were thinking he was dangerous. He might have just been having the worst day of his life.”
Horton sat down at a nearby picnic table and waited until a police officer arrived a short time later. What happened next took him by such surprise that he took a photo to capture the moment. Horton said the officer spoke to the man for about 30 minutes, slowly inching closer.
“And as the conversation drew on, the cop kind of sat at a swing closer and closer until he was right beside the person.”
It was only when the man had calmed down that a couple of other officers arrived, only approaching the pair when it seemed appropriate. In the end, Horton said the man got up and walked away with the officers. “It was really nice to see, especially with all the media that’s kind of negative towards the police.”