St. Marys officer talks man at bridge out of suicide


First Posted: 1/21/2015

ST. MARYS — A St. Marys police officer talked down an 18-year-old man who wanted to end his life Tuesday night.

The St. Marys Police Department received a call from the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office to check U.S. Route 33 for a man walking down the eastbound lanes of the highway.

Two officers with the St. Marys Police Department did not find the man walking down the street, however they did find a man standing on the ledge of the bridge on state Route 116, St. Marys Police Chief Mark Ernst said.

The man jumped a fence to access the bridge’s ledge, Ernst said.

“He climbed the embankment to get to the overpass,” he said.

The department didn’t identify the man, and The Lima News doesn’t identify people attempting suicide unless there are special circumstances.

The two officers called Patrolman Josh Boos, of the St. Marys Police Department. The man said he wanted to end his life by jumping off the ledge, but he was talked down by Boos.

Ernst said Boos and one other officer with the Police Department are trained for hostage negotiations — the training includes talking down people who want to take their own life. Having the two officers is something the department is proud of, Ernst said.

Ernst said Boos engaged in conversation with the man and was able to talk him off the ledge.

The man was then “turned over” to the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office deputies and then transported to St. Rita’s Medical Center for evaluation. The man won’t be charged, Ernst said.

“They’re very special situations because [officers are] dealing with people who are emotionally upset or disturbed,” Ernst said.

This is the second time officers with the department have talked someone out of jumping off the bridge in the past five years, Ernst said.

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