Portland Police talk suicidal man off the Burnside Bridge

Portland Police Bureau Press Release – October 5, 2010

At approximately 10:30 a.m. this morning, October 5, 2010, Central Precinct Officers Helfrich and Sanders noticed a man sitting on the railing of the north side of the Burnside Bridge mid span as they drove across. The officers broadcast over the police radio they would be out on the bridge with this subject. Officers Helfrich and Sanders soon realized that this individual was considering jumping from the bridge and was suicidal. Sergeant Ossenkop and Officer Stegemeyer also responded to the bridge.

Sergeant Ossenkop quickly organized the incident and requested assistance from the Coast Guard who responded to the bridge via boat and shut down all traffic on the bridge. Officer Stegemeyer began talking with this suicidal subject and continued the conversation for 25 to 30 minutes. At that point, Sergeant Ossenkop said the man stepped over the bridge railing and was only holding on by his hands as there is no ledge on that side of the bridge. Officer Stegemeyer continued to talk with the subject and moments later the subject came back over the railing, walked to the waiting officers with his hands raised and surrendered.

The 39 year-old male subject will be transported to an area hospital, and the Burnside Bridge is open for all traffic.

READ – Traffic backed up on Burnside Bridge in Portland as officers coax suicidal man off railingThe Oregonian