June 19, 2018
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Bangor officer rescues man threatening to jump from Valley Avenue bridge

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — A 25-year-old Brewer man was pulled to safety by a Bangor police officer Sunday evening after it was reported he was threatening to jump from the Valley Avenue bridge, police said.

Bangor police Officer Derek Laflin went to the span over the Kenduskeag Stream shortly before 9:30 p.m., according to Sgt. Paul Edwards. The man was on the outer railing of the bridge when the officer arrived, and the stream’s water levels weren’t extremely high. The top railing is approximately 24 feet above the stream.

Laflin attempted to negotiate with the man, but he was initially despondent, Edwards said. Laflin gained the man’s trust by negotiating with him while rescue units were en route to the scene, according to Edwards.

Laflin eventually grabbed ahold of the man and pulled him to safety, Edwards said. The man was transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center for evaluation.

The man told Laflin his girlfriend had left him and was taking their children with her, Edwards said.

“Officer Laflin took swift action by gaining positive control of the suicidal male and pulling him to safety,” Sgt. Dave Bushey wrote in a memo to Chief Mark Hathaway. “His actions were decisive and clearly in good judgment.”

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