Police stop distressed dad from jumping off Penobscot Narrows Bridge on Father’s Day

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff
Posted June 17, 2013, at 3:33 p.m.

PROSPECT, Maine — Maine State Police officials talked a suicidal man out of jumping off the Penobscot Narrows Bridge Sunday afternoon.

The 43-year-old Hancock County resident, whom police did not name, climbed over the safety railing at about 12:45 p.m., according to Sgt. Pat Hood of the Maine State Police. Trooper Jon Leach, who was off-duty, saw the man on the other side of the safety rail. He stopped his vehicle and called for backup, and Hood and Trooper Desiree Wuthenow arrived to help.

Together, the trio spent 20 minutes talking to the man, who told them that he wanted to die.

“It was a combination of life events led him to the point that day,” Hood said Monday. “I think it was years of stuff basically coming to a head. The significance of Father’s Day probably didn’t help any, either.”

The man told them he was a father, Hood said.

Ultimately the officers were able to convince the man to climb back over the railing. They then brought him to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport for medical assistance.

“It worked out pretty well. We were certainly happy,” Hood said.

At least four people have committed suicide on the bridge during its seven year history. Last month, a 51-year-old Holden man jumped off the bridge to his death in the middle of the night. In April, a 25-year-old Eddington man committed suicide by jumping off the bridge. In 2011, t he Rev. Robert Carlson jumped off the bridge and a 14-year-old Stockton Springs boy leapt to his death in 2008. In 2007, a 17-year-old Orland boy either jumped or fell from the span.

BDN writer Mario Moretto contributed to this report.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/06/17/news/hancock/police-stop-man-from-jumping-off-penobscot-narrows-bridge/ printed on September 18, 2014