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Indiana police save man livestreaming threat to throw himself off a bridge

Man was airing suicide threat on Facebook Live
Posted at 1:29 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 09:27:13-04

Police officers in Peru, Indiana saved a distraught man Monday who was livestreaming himself threatening to jump off a bridge.

Officers were alerted around 7 p.m. local time that a man was apparently sitting on the ledge of the Wayne Street Bridge and streaming himself on Facebook Live threatening to jump.

The man, whom we are not identifying by name, was apparently distraught because he had lost custody of his daughter.

“About to jump off this bridge guys,” the man said in the video. “I no longer give a [expletive].”

The video drew hundreds of comments – mostly from people encouraging the man to get down from the bridge safely and telling him that his daughter needs him.

Police arrived and tried to talk the man down, but he threatened to jump if any officers approached him.

“I’m jumping. It’s that simple,” he told police at one point. “I’m smoking my last cigarette and I’m jumping.”

Eventually while his attention was focused on his cellphone, an officer was able to approach him from behind and pull him to safety. Officers then cuffed him and took him to Dukes Memorial Hospital for an evaluation.

Peru Police Chief Michael Meeks commended his officers on resolving the situation safely.

“I am so proud of the actions of Sergeant Samantha Raber, and Officers Colten Pitner and Shawn Swinford,” Meeks wrote on the department’s Facebook page. “They were able to talk to the male and keep him from making a decision to jump. And the actions of Officer Swinford were heroic. He risked his life, and the potential of going into the river as well, to save the life of another.”

The man’s sister also responded to the police department’s post on Facebook thanking them for saving her brother on behalf of her family.