A distraught man is getting treatment, thanks to two Good Samaritans and three Turlock police officers who talked him off an overpass.
According to police, officers were dispatched to a Highway 99 overpass on West Canal Drive at 10:55 p.m. Friday after callers reported a man trying to jump from it.
When officers arrived, they found the man sitting on the rail alongside the road with his back to the highway below, police said in a news release issued Wednesday. The man was leaning backward, but two people were holding onto him.
“The first three officers on scene are members of the Turlock Police Department Hostage Negotiation Team,” Sgt. Neil Cervenka said in the release. Sgt. Steve Rodrigues and officer Hiram Duncan arrived first and began talking to the man. With the help of Sgt. Russ Holeman, the Hostage Negotiation Team supervisor, officers helped the man over the rail and back to safety. He was taken to a local hospital.
“It was incredible that the first three of us there were all trained HNT members,” Holeman said in the release. “Sgt. Rodrigues and Officer Duncan did an outstanding job connecting with this man, who was in a very bad place.”
Members of the Hostage Negotiation Team receive extensive training “in verbally de-escalating exceptionally tense situations,” Cervenka said. “Every member of the team is selected through a competitive testing process.”
Police Chief Nino Amirfar said he was proud of the officers “and the compassion they show on a daily basis. Turlock Police Department is committed to protecting this community.”