Jersey City, Port Authority police save suicidal man on Summit Ave bridge


The Jersey City and Port Authority police teamed up to save a suicidal man that was threatening to jump off the Summit Avenue bridge this morning. 

Photo courtesy of Port Authority police.
Photo courtesy of Port Authority police.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

At about 11:15 a.m., the Port Authority PATH police desk received a call from the JCPD that they were responding to a report of a suicidal male hanging on with his hands to the trackside fence of the Summit Avenue vehicular bridge between Sip Magnolia Avenues, according to Port Authority police spokesman Joe Pentangelo.

The man, although hanging on with his hands, had his feet on a three-inch cement ledge on the trackside of the fence, officials said.

PAPD PATH Patrol Units and PAPD Emergency Service Units (ESU) responded and coordinated with JCPD Patrol and ESU Units on how to best secure the subject and bring him over street-side safely, police said.

The approximate distance from where the subject was located to the ground below (track level) was 100-plus feet in estimation, authorities said.

At about 11:20 a.m., Port Authority police were notified of the matter and the PATH police desk requested all track power to be shutoff. At approximately 11:32 a.m., all track power was shutoff, police said.

From there, PAPD and JCPD Patrol Units tried to secure the subject from streetside via a small narrow gap that exposed the subject’s ankles and lower legs, officials said.

Police were holding on to the man’s legs were actively conversing with him, both in Spanish and English, establishing communication and a rapport to calm the subject down and prevent him from jumping.

While this was going on, PAPD and JCPD ESU were gaining entry to the trackside of the fence using various cutting tools on either side of the subject. PAPD and JCPD ESU were also preparing for a high-angle rescue with rope, harnesses and other equipment, authorities said.

A PAPD ESU officer gained entry first from the man’s right side and secured the man trackside. At that point, the man became semi-unconscious and/ or limp, creating an urgent condition for the ESU Officers to take control of the subject, police said.

At this point, other PAPD and JCPD officers opened another entry from the bottom, where the man was successfully grabbed and removed, officials said.

He was safely secured streetside by PAPD and JCPD, and EMS evaluated and transported him to the Jersey City Medical Center – Barnabas Health, authorities said.

Shortly after securing the man, all track power was restored at approximately 11:37 a.m. and traffic on Summit Avenue between Sip Avenue and Magnolia Avenue resumed normal, police said.

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