The two elite NYPD cops who rescued a protester from the foot of the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday had little help from the woman — who they say threatened to push them off.
Emergency Service Unit Detectives Brian Glacken and Christopher Williams said they had to win the trust of Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, before helping the Fourth of July protester off her precarious perch roughly 150 feet up.
“Just at the beginning” Okoumou was hostile, Glacken told reporters. “She basically threatened to push us off, push the ladder off. But we were persistent, stayed up there.”
The cops were eventually able to reach Okoumou and she eventually allowed them to secure her with a harness and ropes. She was then lowered to safety.
“At first she wasn’t friendly with us. But we took our time to basically get a dialogue with her, get a rapport with her so she would trust us,” Glacken said.
“I think the turning point was that we had a good rapport with her. And when we got (to) her, she couldn’t go any further, she realized her time was up, up there.”
Glacken added: “She apologized to Chris and I having to go up to get her.”
Williams said Wednesday’s Statue of Liberty rescue instantly reminded him of another harrowing high-profile assignment — plucking a climber to safety after he scaled Trump Tower in 2016.
“It brought back that same feeling (of the Trump Tower rescue),” Williams said.
Once the two cops were secured with ropes, Williams said he had no fear for his own safety.
“We train from the beginning, all the time, constantly,” he said. “I knew that when Brian and myself were up there, I had nothing to worry about because of the guys behind me had it, we had nothing to worry about.”
Williams added: “All we had to worry about now was talking to this young lady and getting her to come with us.”
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