According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, deputies received a call reference a suicidal subject that was standing on the railing of the Bay Pines Bridge.
Sergeant Jeff Esterline initially attempted to talk the subject off the railing, but deputies say it quickly became evident that the subject intended to jump.
Corporal James Brueckner then joined Sgt. Esterline in talking to the 24-year-old subject and engaging him and keeping his attention. As they did this, Deputy Troy Savetz approached the subject from a blind spot and was able to grab him off the railing. The subject suffered only minor injuries from his fall to the roadway. Deputies say the subject was initially combative when they pulled him off the railing and deputies had to use an electronic control device to subdue him. The subject later thanked Deputy Savetz for pulling him off the railing. The subject was then transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
The subject advised deputies he was distraught over financial and relationship issues.
According to deputies, the water below where the subject was standing was only about 1.5 to 2 feet deep over an oyster shell bed.
Deputy Savetz, Sergeant Esterline and Corporal Brueckner have received Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). CIT Training is designed to create a mindset in teaching deputies how to recognize mental health issues and deal with them in the most effective manner.