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PORTLAND -- Two Multnomah County bridge mechanics were getting ready to strengthen the railings on the Hawthorne Bridge when traffic came to a screeching halt late Wednesday morning.

Pedestrians were stopping and congregating, said Leo Sandoval.

Sandoval and Buel Dees took a closer look. They noticed a 22-year-old man was about to jump off the bridge. They jumped into action and ran for the troubled man.

I grabbed him, held him, tucked him tight to me to hold him from going over, said Sandoval.

When I saw that Leo was struggling with him, and the guy was intent on going over, I grabbed the other side of him to hold him down, added Dees.

A bystander snapped photos of the dramatic rescue. They show Sandoval and Dees holding the man down for police.

I was just trying to speak to him, said Dees. Tell him it's OK.

It is that sort of action that impresses supervisors with Lines for Life, a non-profit dedicated to preventing substance abuse and suicide.

I think it's awesome that people reach out and give that help, said Morgan Leets. So often you see bystanders aren't sure what to do.

Sandoval and Dees are proof that helping a stranger can save a life.

You question it and wonder if you did the right thing, said Dees. 24 hours later I realized I did the right thing and I'd do it again.

I don't know the true definition of a hero, added Sandoval. But I'm just a normal citizen willing to help someone.

Sandoval and Dees say they cannot take all the credit for helping the distraught man. They say there was a third man who stepped in to help.

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