Saturday, May 21, 2011

Police Stop Apparent Suicide Attempt on the Williamsburg Bridge

Police detectives dragged a 39-year-old Manhattan man to safety on Saturday after the man spent three hours perched on a narrow ledge atop the Williamsburg Bridge, the authorities said.

Several witnesses called 911 around 11:15 a.m. to report that a man had climbed the fence along the pedestrian walkway on the Brooklyn side of the bridge above Berry Street and appeared ready to jump, the police said.

Two detectives from the Police Department's Emergency Service Unit scaled the fence, which the police described as having the consistency of chicken wire. But as they approached the man, he remained silent and expressionless, telling the detectives only that he would jump if they came closer.

About 2:20 p.m., sensing the man was about to jump off the ledge, the detectives said they grabbed him and handcuffed him. Police officials then pulled him to safety through a hole they cut in the bridge's fencing.

The man, a Midtown resident who was not identified, did not appear to be motivated by the possible end of the world. Rather, he said after he was pulled off the bridge that he had "family issues" related to child care, a law enforcement official said. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center for evaluation.

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