The story looks nothing like this.
My uncle Lee was a carpenter, and one day in late seventies, he was working at a job where he was up on a scaffold, a couple of stories up. Nearby, other members of the crew were demolishing a building, and they were using a wrecking ball.
The unfortunate thing was that the man running the wrecking ball had been out drinking the night before. And he fell asleep. At the controls of a wrecking ball.
As one might expect, when the wrecking ball operator falls asleep, the wrecking ball gets a little out of control.
Lee was working away on his scaffold when he suddenly realized the wrecking ball was coming his way. It was going to hit his scaffold, and he was going to fall.
So Lee got ready and waited for the wrecking ball to come for him.
Just before it hit his scaffold, Lee made a flying leap and grabbed the chain of the wrecking ball. It demolished the scaffold, and then he slid down to the ball itself, standing on it and shouting for all he was worth.
The noise woke the wrecking ball operator, who stopped the ball immediately, white-faced and shaking. Lee hopped off the ball, annoyed but okay, and went back to work.
I’ve never heard if the wrecking ball operator kept his job…