Muhammad Ali objected the war but saved the life of a veteran after it was over

When a veteran was ready to jump off a Los Angeles building on January 19, 1981 it wasn’t the police who rescued him, it was championship boxer Muhammad Ali.

“I’m no good,” the 21-year-old man shouted, leaning out over a ledge nine floors above Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. “I’m going to jump!”

He’d been up there for hours, shouting that the Viet Cong were coming for him, resisting all police efforts to bring him down.  The man was too young to have seen combat in Vietnam but did serve in the military.

Ali was not at the scene as it unfolded but heard the incident was occurring nearby from his manager.  Ali apparently got into his Rolls Royce and drove the wrong way down Los Angeles streets, flashing his headlights all the way.

He ran into the building and began talking the man off the ledge. “I’m your brother,” Ali shouted. “I love you and I wouldn’t lie to you … I want to help you.”

Ali was eventually able to convince the man to open the door to the fire escape he was standing on. Ali then embraced the man and pulled him inside to safety.

With Ali at his side, he was later escorted to the Sawtelle VA Hospital for treatment, according to Yahoo.

“No doubt about it,” a police official said at the scene that day. “Ali saved that man’s life.”

Ali, citing religious reasons, famously refused to join the U.S. armed forces during the Vietnam War. He was convicted of draft evasion and lost his boxing license before regaining it in 1970.

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