Off-duty Sweetser crisis worker talks man down from Androscoggin River bridge

The Frank J. Wood Bridge is shown in June 2014
Peter L. McGuire | The Forecaster
The Frank J. Wood Bridge is shown in June 2014
Posted Aug. 12, 2014, at 12:29 p.m.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — A 29-year-old Brunswick man climbed onto the railing of the Frank J. Wood Bridge on Monday night and threatened to jump into the Androscoggin River before he was convinced by an off-duty Sweetser crisis worker to seek mental health treatment.

“He didn’t want to talk to us, but she engaged in a conversation with him and she did a great job,” said Deputy Chief Marc Hagan of the Brunswick Police Department. “She was able to build a rapport with him and talk him down.”

The Frank. J. Wood Bridge spans the Androscoggin between Topsham and Brunswick. It is one of the most heavily traveled routes between the two communities.

Police from Brunswick and Topsham blocked off the bridge after receiving a call at 6:47 p.m. Monday that a person was standing on the railing of the bridge and threatening to jump.

Brunswick firefighters launched a boat into the river below the bridge, but by 7:18 p.m., the man descended onto the roadway, where he was taken, uninjured, to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick for evaluation.

“We were just fortunate, as was he, that the Sweetser worker was at the scene and able to calm him down,” Hagan said.

 

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