Suicide Teen Hackensack River New Milford PD Jump

A troubled young local girl brought rescuers to a bridge over the Hackensack River for the fourth time in less than two years on Friday. 

At the scene on a bridge over the Hackensack River where a troubled teen jumped for the fourth time in two years.

At the scene on a bridge over the Hackensack River where a troubled teen jumped for the fourth time in two years.


And like twice before, she nearly drowned.

The girl also had guardian angels on her side once again -- this time a group of New Milford police officers.

The youngster, now 16, was sitting on the edge of the Old New Bridge when Lt. Nelson Perez arrived around 2 p.m. April 12, New Milford Police Chief Brian Clancy said.

The officer had gotten within 10 feet when she jumped, the chief said.

The teen was treading water when Perez climbed over the railing as fellow Officers John Rikowich and Dennis Calacione and Lt. George Herrero arrived.

Suddenly, she got pulled under.

Rikowich instantly shed his gear, jumped in and pulled the girl to a piling.

He and Perez held her there until rescue boats from New Milford, River Edge and Oradell arrived 10 to 15 minutes later, Clancy said.

Hackensack University Medical Center EMS took the girl to HUMC for treatment. Rikowich was sent, as well, given how long he'd been in the water, his chief said.

River Edge police also assisted, Clancy noted.

"It was a coordinated effort by all police and fire personnel," the chief said. "Everyone at the scene did a great job. I'm extremely proud."

The teen was expected to be admitted once again to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus.

It was this time of year -- April 28, 2022 -- when she jumped into the river for the first time.

The teen and River Edge Police Officer Maclane Doran both went completely under at least once as the current took them under a foot bridge.

SEE: Hero Police Officer Saves Troubled Girl, 14, Who Jumped Into Hackensack River

Two months later, the officer's brother grabbed the girl before she could jump.

It took a half-hour or so, but New Milford Police Officer Sam Doran established a rapport with the girl -- enough so that she was willing to fist-bump him, Clancy said at the time.

As she did, the officer grabbed the youngster and pulled her from the railing, the chief said.

SEE: Troubled Teen On Hackensack River Bridge Saved By Officer Whose Brother Recently Rescued Her

She did it again in July 2022 and was rescued by a multi-agency team of police, firefighters, SCUBA divers and negotiators.

SEE: Troubled Teen Rescued After Tense Moments On Hackensack River


The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) offers 24/7 call, text and chat access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing suicidal, substance use, and/or mental health crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat at:


to follow Daily Voice Bergenfield and receive free news updates.