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Officers rescue man from attempted bridge jump

News

Officers rescue man from attempted bridge jump

BATH — Law enforcers rescued a 29-year-old Bath man early on Feb. 28 who had reportedly attempted to jump off the Sagadahoc Bridge.
At approximately 12:50 a.m. Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Department Deputy Cpl. Adam Baker was driving across the bridge when he spotted the man – whose name police would not release – leaning far over the bridge railing at mid-span. Recognizing the man was about to jump, Baker requested assistance, according police reports. Bath Police Officer Andrew Booth arrived immediately and joined Baker in approaching the man.
As he spoke on a cellular phone, the man climbed onto the railing and sat as the officers approached. The officers, according to reports, heard him say "see you on the flip side" into the phone and then let go of the railing, falling backwards toward the river which rushes 75 feet below.
Reacting quickly, Baker and Booth managed to grab each of the man's legs, holding him as he hung upside down from the railing. Bath Officer Brett McIntire and Sagadahoc Deputy Robert Mayer, who just arrived on the scene, helped the other two officers pull the man back onto the bridge.
The male, who Bath Police Chief Mike Field said on Tuesday was taller than 6 feet and heavier than 200 pounds, offered no explanation but mentioned serving several tours of duty in Iraq, according to police. The man was placed in protective custody and taken to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick for evaluation.
"There was a bit of a struggle to take him into protective custody" once the man was on solid ground, Field said.
He pointed out that law enforcement training plays largely into suicide attempt scenarios, saying that if Baker had not seen the man and continued driving by, "we'd probably be doing a recovery mission."
While officers are trained how to speak with people attempting suicide, Field said, " I think there was very, very little conversation" between the officers on scene and the man.
"This is the first incident of that significance on that bridge since it's been built," Field said concerning the nearly 10-year-old bridge.
Field pointed out that the man was in a facility that would help him, "and from that point hopefully he'll follow up ... there's plenty of services out there, so I hope he takes advantage of that. Thank God for Adam and Andy."
Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.