September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and few people honored that fact as effectively as two officers with the Metra Police Department in Blue Island, Illinois.
Sergeant Will Wright and Officer Andrea Clunie were directly responsible for saving a man who attempted to throw himself off a bridge on Sept. 15.
It started around 5:30 p.m. as construction near the 127th Street bridge over the Metra rail yard was coming to a halt for the day. It was providential that there were still workers on site, as they were able to spot and report a man engaging in concerning activity.
A white Honda Accord drove up to the construction area and passed two “Road Closed” signs along 127th Street, according to Metra.
Workers waved at him and tried to get him to stop, but he persisted.
When the car got stuck and couldn’t go any further, a man got out and walked toward the bridge.
Sgt. Wright and Officer Clunie arrived just in time. Bodycam footage shows them approaching the man and asking him to turn around, so they could handcuff him.
Unfortunately, turning around meant facing the railing of the bridge, and the man began to jump over the side.
He was able to get half his body over the railing before the officers grabbed him and hauled him back to safety.
“No, no, don’t do this,” Clunie can be heard saying in the video.
“I’m just tired,” the man said as the officers pinned him to the ground and put him in handcuffs. “I’m just so tired.”
“And we’re gonna help you out,” Clunie reassured him. “Nothing is worth you taking your life, okay?”
According to the NWI Times, the man was arrested and taken for an evaluation at Ingalls Hospital.
The CEO and executive director of Metra, Jim Derwinski, thanked the officers for their humanity and successful intervention.
“I am immensely proud of the job these two officers did in this incident, not only by their quick reactions to pull this individual to safety but also by their positive words to him as they did so,” Derwinski said. “They are outstanding representatives of Metra and the Metra Police Department and they truly embody the spirit of My Metra.”
Metra Police Department’s Captain Michael O’Neill also commended the two officers.
“An officer gave a good description. The officers located him on the bridge,” O’Neill said, according to WFLD.
“He was obviously having mental and emotional issues. They tried to get him away, when he tried to go over, they grabbed him, pulled him back.
“We got him transported. He is still currently hospitalized, but that’s for his own safety.
“Thankfully, our officers were able to recognize that he was displaying signs that he was having that emotional crisis, and they were able to kind of deescalate the situation even though the subject did attempt to take his own life. They were able to get him under control, get him the help he needed.”
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