Rapper T.I. says the help he gave police in preventing a suicide jump Wednesday had nothing to do with his court hearing Friday, when a federal judge will decide whether to revoke his probation. -103’s Ryan Cameron noted in an interview with T.I. that “there are going to be some out there who say this timing is quite impeccable, that T.I. would do this, that he saw something to gain for his own situation.”
“I’m not taking any credit,” T.I. responded. “It could have been resolved in another way. The fact of the matter is God put me in a position, and put in my spirit to be in the position to help, and I can’t take any credit for that.
“I didn’t wake up this morning with the intentions of going down and helping hostage negotiators talk someone down off a ledge. I don’t think that could be in anyone’s plan of action,” he added. “I don’t expect this to have any different impact on any of my circumstances. That wasn’t my motivation.”
T.I., a Grammy award winner and film star whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., was released from prison this year and is on probation for firearms violations. He has a court hearing scheduled Friday following his drug arrest in Los Angeles.
T.I. and his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, were pulled over Sept. 1 for making an illegal U-turn; the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says several ecstasy pills were found on T.I. and Cottle. U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell Jr. could send T.I. back to prison.
Wednesday afternoon, T.I. said he was pulling out of his driveway and headed to a video shoot. He said he heard on V-103 about the man threatening to jump from 400 Colony Square, the 22-story Midtown building that houses the radio station.
Peachtree Street was temporarily blocked off between 14th and 15th streets, and MARTA buses were rerouted, police said. Witnesses in nearby buildings reported seeing a man sitting on the edge of the building.
“He is visible from the street level,” Atlanta fire Capt. Jolyon Bundridge told the AJC.
T.I. “came to the scene and offered to talk to him,” Officer James Polite with Atlanta police told the AJC.
An officer at street level recorded a video message from T.I. and sent it to a negotiator on the roof, who showed it to the 24-year-old man.
T.I. said the message simply stated “that I was here and I was looking forward to meeting him and that no matter what’s going on in life now, it gets better.”
When the man came down, he spoke to T.I. for about five minutes.
The man was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for evaluation. He will not face charges, Polite said.
An airbag unit was at the scene if the man jumped, Bundridge said. But it is difficult to move once it is in place, he said.
Atlanta police credit T.I. with helping avoid a potentially devastating event.
“He didn’t have to stop. He could’ve kept on going about his business,” Polite said. “We’re happy it ended the way it did, and we thank him.”
— WSB Radio’s Pete Combs contributed to this report.