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Cops keep man from jumping off Tener span

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Thursday, April 24, 2014, 1:06 a.m.

A man on the verge of jumping off the John K. Tener Memorial Bridge thanked the police officer who tackled him.

The unidentified 61-year-old man was standing on the ledge of a cement barrier on the North Charleroi end of span when police arrived about 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Charleroi Regional and Monessen police blocked traffic at both ends of the bridge as the man threatened to leap into the Monongahela River.

Charleroi Regional Detective Lt. Eric Porter said the man told him he was originally from Carrick, but was staying in Fallowfield Township while dating an area woman.

“He said he had a lot of medical issues and was really depressed,” Porter said of the would-be jumper. “He kept apologizing to us.”

Porter said the man tossed his driver's license onto the bridge at one point, telling officers how they could get in touch with family members.

“We kept telling him we didn't want him to do this, we didn't want to have to call his family,” Porter said.

As Porter, Lt. Mark Yates and officers Ryan Brand and John Mitaly talked to the man and distracted him, Lt. Mike Polinski approached from the other side of the bridge.

“Mike grabbed his jacket and pulled him down onto the concrete,” Porter said. “He saved his life.”

Porter said the man continued to apologize as the officers took him away.

“He thanked Mike for saving his life and shook his hand,” Porter said.

While the incident only lasted about 10 minutes, Porter said it seemed as if it lasted “forever.”

The man was transported to Monongahela Valley Hospital, Porter said.

Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at



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