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Meet The San Francisco Cat Who Helped Save A Suicidal Man's Life

"Never underestimate the power of a owner's love for their pet #kitten!"

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Here's a photo of San Francisco police Officer Shawn Fulgado as he poses with a cat. But not just any cat! It's a cat who ended a three-hour-long stand-off between negotiators and a suspected car thief who'd been threatening to leap from a building ledge.

Never underestimate the power of a owner's love for their pet #kitten! Great job #SFPD negotiations; scene clearing

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the suspect ran into a building in the SoMa district of San Francisco after being stopped while driving a stolen vehicle on Wednesday.

The traffic stop then turned into a potential suicide as the man climbed out a third story window and threatened to jump.

Hours later, when negotiators learned that his family had brought the man’s pet cat to the scene, they were able to use the kitten to finally coax the man down from the ledge.

“Using the cat was ingenious,” said police spokesperson Officer Albie Esparza to the San Francisco Chronicle. “Never underestimate the power of the love between people and their pets.”

A job like no other, in a city like no other. Join #SFPD, ordinary doing the extraordinary. Pic courtesy SFChron

“I think it was great to think outside the box like the officers did,” Esparza continued. “It made enough of an impact on this person to bring him down and come to his senses.”

“I don’t remember ever using a cat before, but it worked,” Esparza said. “The guy voluntarily came out of the window and opened the door and was taken into custody without incident.”

Thanks to #SFPD, #CHP and #SFFD and the cat for bringing the standoff to an end

“The hostage negotiators establish a trust with the person, regardless if they are suicidal or a suspect, and you want to maintain that trust as much as you can,” Esparza explained. “The guy wasn’t resisting. There was no need not to help him out. Obviously, he had a very emotional attachment to the cat and it was nice to comfort him as much as possible.”

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