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BCSO blotter: Deputies stop man from jumping off bridge

From Bryan County Sheriff's Office reports:

Attempted suicide: A Bloomingdale man was taken to a Savannah hospital Saturday after deputies prevented him from jumping off the Highway 280 overpass, saving his life.

According to the incident report narrative from Deputy Daryl Burns, BCSO deputies as well as firefighters and EMS personnel from Bryan County Fire and Emergency Services responded to reports of “a white male looking like he was going to jump off the bridge.”
Once there, Burns said he saw the man, described as being in his 20s or 30s, standing on the overpass railing on the westbound side of the overpass.

“As I pulled up to stop he went over the railing to stand on the outset ledge of the bridge and was threatening to jump if I came any closer,” Burns wrote in the incident report. “I started a dialogue with the white male …”

Eventually, after emergency workers gave the man cigarettes, cigars and lighters, and a driver who happened to be passing stopped and bought the man a pack of cigarettes and a lighter, the man told Burns who he was and that he’d done meth earlier in the day, “and was still tweaking on it,” the report said.

“(The man) at this time started stripping off his clothing by removing his hat, jacket, shirts and his shoes, leaving him only in his pants, socks and underwear,” Burns’ report said, noting the man then said he’d put meth up his anus.

“When I questioned him about why he did that he said he just had to do that to quiet the Devil in him,” Burns wrote.

The man kept asking about an ex- girlfriend, and Burns managed to call her and the man’s grandfather, both of whom said they would come to the overpass to help talk the man out of jumping. Burns also tried to reach the man’s mother.

At roughly this point, Sgt. John Futch, Dept. David Ellis and Capt. David Blige got to the overpass while Burns continued to talk to the man “for over an hour before his ex-girlfriend arrived on scene.”

When she arrived, the man agreed to come over the railing, and Burns told her she had to stay 15 feet away from the railing.

“When she stopped he said for her to come to him and I informed him we couldn’t allow that because we did not want her harmed,” Burns reported. “(The man) came over the railing and stayed by it telling her to come to him so he could hug her and I stopped her saying I can’t allow that because that would put her in danger. (The man) then lunged forward and grabbed her in a hug.”

Burns and BCSO Dept. Matt Spacek “moved in quickly just as (the man) was starting to turn back toward the bridge railing with (his ex girlfriend) still in a bear-type hug,” the report said.

After the two deputies “made contact” with the man he to pull away, so Burns used his taser twice to get the man to the ground, the report said and stunned him again while he was on the ground because he was still fighting deputies.

Eventually the man was handcuffed and checked out by EMS, then allowed to talk to his family members before he was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Savannah.

Deputies remained with the man “until medical staff informed us that he would be admitted into their mental heal ward for evaluating and treatment for his mental issues and drug abuse problems.”

The deputies who escorted the man to the hospital returned to duty approximately five hours after Burns first arrived at the overpass, according to the report.    

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