Watch: Cop saves rest home resident jumping off balcony

Bodycam footage shows the heart-stopping moment a hero police officer battled to stop an elderly rest home resident from jumping to his death.

Officer Justin Martin, from the US Hamden Police Department, received a callout for a "combative resident" and raced up six flights of steps to find the pensioner.

He arrived on the roof just in time to see the man preparing for his plummet.

Video footage from Officer Martin's camera recorded how he frantically ran towards him shouting "hey, hey, hey!"

The resident dived head first over the balcony - but Mr Martin grabbed him by his feet as he dangled over the edge.

"I just wanted to catch up to him. I didn't want him to hurt himself. I didn't want to lose sight of him and I didn't know the building so I wanted to make sure that I was able to catch up to him," Officer Martin told WTNH.

"I was able to grab his foot and he had a belt on so I was able to pull him up enough to get the belt, my other hand onto his belt and I got both hands on his waist and I was able to pull him up after that."

The elderly man fought back by kicking and struggling, but was successfully hauled to safety and taken to hospital for evaluation.

The rest home has thanked the officer for saving the man's life.

"Whitney Center is extremely grateful for the heroic action of our staff and Officer Justin Martin who prevented a terrible tragedy from happening," the retirement centre says.

"Our first concern is for the resident who is facing this challenge in his life. Our prayers are with him and our hope is that he gets the help and support he needs."

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate help, call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or the Suicide Prevention Helpline on 0508 828 865.