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Officers Prevent Man From Jumping Off Benicia Bridge

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Benicia Martinez Bridge (Wikimedia Commons)

Benicia Martinez Bridge (Wikimedia Commons)

BENICIA (CBS SF) — Two Benicia police officers prevented a despondent man from jumping from the Benicia Bridge Thursday afternoon, a police lieutenant said.

The 21-year-old Benicia man was standing on a ledge and threatening to jump from the southbound lanes of the bridge when police arrived around 1 p.m., Lt. Frank Hartig said.

The man had informed his mother in a text message he was at the bridge and intended to commit suicide, Hartig said.

The mother called 911 and Benicia police and the California Highway Patrol were dispatched to the scene.

Benicia police Officer Mark Menesini was the first to arrive and saw the man walking south in the bicycle lane of the bridge, Hartig said. The man climbed over a railing and stood on a small platform in an area of the bridge above the rocky shoreline below, Hartig said.

Menesini was talking to the man when Officer Jenna Cameron, a trained hostage negotiations team member, arrived, Hartig said.

After approximately 30 minutes, the officers talked the man off the ledge and he was taken into custody for 72-hour mental health evaluation at a Solano County Mental Health Services facility, Hartig said.

“Both of these officers demonstrated patience, compassion, and excellent communication skills which ultimately resulted in the subject changing his mind about taking his own life,” Hartig said.

Traffic on Interstate Highway 680 was not affected by the incident, Hartig said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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