10/19/07 — Trooper handcuffs suicidal man just before he tries to jump off area bridge

View Archive

Trooper handcuffs suicidal man just before he tries to jump off area bridge

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on October 19, 2007 1:46 PM

A Highway Patrol trooper says he grabbed and handcuffed a suicidal man just before the man tried to jump off a bridge into the Neuse River in the Goldsboro area.

Trooper J.B. Smith said a 57-year-old Goldsboro man with a history of suicidal behavior initially caught his attention on Arrington Bridge Road. He had noted an invalid vehicle inspection sticker on the man's vehicle.

But as Smith tried to stop the man, he exited the vehicle near Goldsboro's waste water treatment plant close to N.C. 581's intersection with Westbrook Road, Smith said.

The incident took place around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the trooper said.

"He just kept saying he wanted to kill himself, and he 'was tired of it,'" Smith said.

The man almost went over one side of the bridge when Smith grabbed him, and secured him in handcuffs.

The 57-year-old was brought before a magistrate, who had the suicidal man sent to Wayne Memorial Hospital for evaluation.

From there, he was transported to a local mental health treatment facility, probably Cherry Hospital, Smith said.

The man had apparently recently had family problems, the trooper said.

"His dad had died, his brother had died, and one of his cousins had killed himself," Smith said.

From later talks with family, including the man's wife, he learned that the 57-year-old had a history of mental illness and suicide attempts, the trooper said.

"He wanted to commit suicide, that's why he had driven himself down there, and that's what escalated the use of force," Smith said.