Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bridge Jumping

Gateway Pundit links to a story about a bridge jumper in China. The man, who is deeply in debt, held up traffic for five hours by threatening to jump from a ledge. Another man climbed up to him, shook his hand, and pushed him off the ledge. The first man fell about 26 feet onto an air cushion and survived.

This reminded me of a similar incident that occurred while I lived inside The Beltway. In 1998 the DC jumper held up traffic for five hours by threatening to jump off the Wilson Bridge. Part way through the incident a local radio station which had been inundated with requests from stranded motorists finally relented and played Van Halen's Jump. After failing to talk the jumper down, DC's finest shot him with a "beanbag" bullet. The man jumped and a DC police boat picked him up and took him to the hospital.

Update: I just noticed this in the Washington Post article:
"It didn't go down perfectly, these things never do," Gainer said. "Clearly he was agitated about his life's situation. . . . The negotiators really tried to empathize with him. We came very close to this being a perfect rescue."
Got that? It was very close to being a perfect rescue. I'm sorry, but to be very close to being perfect, the incident has to over quickly, say, less than an hour, and the suicidal individual must not be shot. But let's not loose sight of the important issues like the DC police negotiator's ability to empathize with a suicidal man.

Welcome Gateway Punditeers! Have a look around. Perhaps you'll enjoy my coverage of the St Louis Tea Parties. I've got pictures from the February one, video from the Tax Day Tea Party, and both pictures and video from the Arnold Tea Party. If you're a videographer (or would like to be) please read this post. Maybe you'd prefer some snarky coverage of our financial mess. Or perhaps you want to find "common ground" with Obama in the abortion debate. Thanks for stopping by!

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