A Maryland State Police trooper prevented a man from jumping from the I-95 Millard Tydings Bridge in Cecil County on Saturday, an incident that was videotaped by the camera in the trooper's patrol car.
The incident occurred around 7:23 p.m. Saturday, according to the portion of the video State Police posted on their Facebook page.
State Police spokesperson Elena Russo said Trooper Joshua Kim, who is assigned to the nearby JFK Highway Barrack in Perryville, was driving north on the bridge when he saw the man walking in the southbound lanes, which Russo noted was unusual.
Kim also saw the man's car parked 50 to 75 yards away from where he was walking, Russo said. The trooper made a U-turn as soon as he could, and drove back toward him.
The 24-year-old Kim, who has been with the State Police for two years, said he was driving back to the barrack to do some paperwork.
He said he saw the man walking on the bridge and his car parked a short distance away.
"I knew something wasn't right, so I called it in," he said Wednesday.
The video shows the man beginning to climb over the side barrier of the 51-year-old bridge, which is about 90 feet above the Susquehanna River.
Kim said the man was standing on a part of the bridge that is over land and train tracks that run along the Cecil County shore of the river.
Kim said the man looked at him and waved as he pulled up and jumped out of his vehicle.
In the video, Kim grabs the man around the waist, pulls him back from the barrier, wrestles him to the outer lane of the roadway and handcuffs him.
The trooper said he "got low so I wouldn't go over with him."
Kim said that if he had grabbed the man, who he estimated weighs about 200 pounds, higher on his body, they could have both gone over the barrier, which is about 3 feet high.
He said the man was handcuffed "for his safety and my safety."
Kim also noted there was no shoulder on the bridge for him to pull over, and traffic was still moving in the adjacent lanes.
He said he has interacted with other people during his career who are trying to hurt themselves or kill themselves, but he has never dealt with a situation like he had on the Tydings Bridge.
Russo said the man was taken to Harford Memorial Hospital in nearby Havre de Grace for observation; he was not charged.
"It certainly was incredible bravery on the trooper's part," she said. "He was putting his own life at risk as well, when he went in for the save."
Kim said he did not have time to talk to the man on the bridge. He said he usually tells people in similar situations they will get the help they need and they are taken to a local hospital to be evaluated.
"[I say] Let's step back, let's try and think this out; we're going to get you the help that you need," he said.
On the drive to the hospital, Kim said the man told him he had been dealing with family issues and mental health issues recently, and he thanked him for saving him both during the drive and later at the hospital.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun