A tragic outcome was averted Tuesday afternoon thanks to a Turlock police corporal who talked a suicidal man off a freeway overpass.
The 29-year-old Turlock man who was threatening to jump off the overpass, was taken to the Behavioral Health Center for evaluation, said Turlock Police Sgt. Douglas Ravaglioli.
The incident began at 3:17 p.m. when the Turlock Police Department was notified of a possible jumper standing on the cyclone fence on the Linwood Avenue overpass above the northbound Highway 99 lanes.
Cpl. Steve Crawford, a 15-year veteran of the department and a crisis negotiator for nine years, arrived at the scene at 3:22 p.m. and immediately started trying to talk the man down from the fence, Ravaglioli said.
The man told Crawford he was despondent over family issues and economics.
The man was standing on the fence directly above the traffic passing below him on the freeway. Crawford was able to convince the man to first, sit on the fence and then move down away from the traffic lanes. Eventually he was able to talk the man down from the overpass at 4: 23 p.m., Ravaglioli said.
“I’m fortunate to have Cpl. Crawford as my second in command of the shift because he’s a 15-year veteran and a tested crisis negotiator,” Ravaglioli said.
During the incident northbound traffic on 99 was halted by the California Highway Patrol and the Turlock Fire Department and American Medical Responders were on standby.
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