Two Metra Police officers prevented a despondent man from jumping off a bridge into a railyard, a dramatic incident that was recorded on one of the officers’ body cameras.
The man, who had just fled his car after driving onto a closed road and into a construction zone, was standing near the bridge railing when the two officers, Sgt. Will Wright and Officer Andrea Clunie, confronted him. As they were commanding him to place his hands behind his back so they could arrest him, he suddenly attempted to jump off the bridge, but the officers immediately grabbed him and pulled him back.
“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,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “They are outstanding representatives of Metra and the Metra Police Department and they truly embody the spirit of My Metra.”
The Sept. 15 incident took place on the 127th Street bridge over the Metra railyard in Blue Island. The street and the bridge were closed because Metra was rebuilding the road’s crossing with the Metra Electric Blue Island Branch tracks at 127th and Lincoln, just east of the bridge.
As construction was wrapping up for the day at about 5:30 p.m., workers saw an eastbound white Honda Accord go around two signs on 127th that said, “Road Closed,” and drive into the construction zone. They waved at the driver to try to get him to stop but he continued until his car got stuck in the impassable crossing.
The workers then saw the driver get out of the car and walk back the way he had driven, onto the 127th Street bridge. That is where Sgt. Wright and Officer Clunie, responding to the calls from the workers at the scene, encountered him. The man was crying and saying he was sorry before he attempted to go over the bridge railing. He was arrested and, after his arrest was processed, taken to Ingalls Hospital for evaluation.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. If you or someone you know is in an emergency, Metra encourages you to call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Help is also available at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.