A homeless man persuaded a suicidal woman not to jump from a Highway 99 overpass and then grabbed and held her when she slipped and fell while trying to climb back to safety.

According to Bakersfield police, the drama began unfolding on the Wilson Road overpass sometime after 3 a.m. when the unidentified woman climbed over the fence with the intention of leaping onto the highway to kill herself.

Bakersfield police Sgt. Joe Grubbs said an unidentified homeless man who happened to be walking by talked to the woman trying to convince her not to jump.

As the woman apparently had second thoughts and began climbing back over the fence to safety, she slipped and fell. She held onto the chain link fence but was left dangling above traffic.

Grubbs said the man was able to grab the woman and hold onto her. He managed to get the attention of an unidentified motorist, who called 911, and then helped hold onto the woman.

Police responded at 3:28 a.m.

Two officers pulled up the bottom of the chain link fence on the south side of the overpass to grab onto the woman's hands, Grubbs said. The third officer cut an opening in the fence with bolt cutters, and they pulled the woman to safety.

Neither the mystery man nor the motorist could be located Wednesday. Grubbs said he spoke to the homeless man's mother but expressed doubt about finding the man himself.

The rescued woman was taken to Kern Medical Center for treatment.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the BPD at 327-7111.