A drama that began on a Bowery roof ledge three months ago has ended in a Staten Island family court, where the police officer who talked Michael Buchanan out of suicide officially became his adoptive father.
When William Fox met the 17-year-old in early September, Buchanan was a lonely, depressed runaway perched on the edge of a flophouse rooftop, threatening to end a life that had bounced him from town to town and home to home.
Fox asked the youth to crawl over to him. The crowd six stories below yelled: "Jump! Jump!"
"See, they don't care about me," Buchanan said.
"Somebody cares," Fox told him. "I'd be proud to have a son like you."
On Friday the 35-year-old bachelor and his new son were hugging and smiling on the courthouse steps as they told reporters how Buchanan's life had changed since Fox took temporary custody of the youth, with his parents' approval, in early October.
"He's going to go to college and become a productive citizen of this city," Fox said. "He's going to high school, he's on the bowling team and he's got a girl friend."
"I've never gotten this kind of a second chance before," Buchanan said