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New TBZ Jumper Pulled To Safety By Officers Who 'Rappelled' Over Side, Police Say

WCPD officers rescued a man who was attempting to commit suicide.
WCPD officers rescued a man who was attempting to commit suicide. Photo Credit: Westchester County Police

This story has been updated.

A man who attempted to jump from the new Tappan Zee Bridge was rescued by troopers and a special police unit who rappelled over the side of the bridge and pulled him up with ropes.

The incident began on the bridge in Southern Westchester in the area of Tarrytown around 9:20 a.m., Friday, May 27.

Emergency responders were called to the bridge for a possible jumper over the railing, said William Duffy, spokesman for the New York State Police.

Westchester County Police officers responded, and utilized their crisis intervention training, and de- escalation skills to calm the man and earned his trust, said Kieran O'Leary, of the Westchester County Police.

ESU officers deployed rescue ropes and Officer Tyler Hinckley went over the barricade, dangling 130 feet above the river as he placed the man in a rescue harness, O'Leary said.

He was assisted by other ESU members and state troopers in getting the man back to safety. 

The WCPD Marine Unit also responded in the event it was necessary to lower the man and Hinckley to safety, he said

“There was great teamwork among our ESU personnel, state troopers, and NYS Thruway Authority personnel to bring this incident to a safe conclusion for all,” Commissioner Thomas A. Gleason said. “I commend our ESU officers for their skillful actions that resulted in saving a life.”

Gleason said ESU members train regularly to respond to a wide range of emergencies and utilized that training today in today’s incident.

The man was transported by Tarrytown EMS to a local area hospital.

The operation caused a temporary traffic delay northbound on the span and the walking path was temporarily closed. 

In addition to the state police, other responders included:

  • New York State Thruway Authority
  • Westchester County Police ESU
  • Volunteer firefighters from the Central Nyack and Tarrytown fire departments
  • Marine units with divers from the Nyack, Thiells and Piermont fire departments
  • Rockland County Sheriff
  • Westchester County marine units
  • Police medics from the Town of Greenburgh, Tarrytown, and Nyack EMS.

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