A suicidal man who was planning to jump off the George Washington Bridge allegedly pulled a firearm on police officers trying to save him, ABC7 reported.
The incident began just before 10:30 a.m. Friday morning, and Port Authority officers soon confiscated the weapon, which was said to be a “starter pistol,” after speaking to the unidentified man.
The incident prompted authorities to close the upper level of the bridge in both directions, but it has since reopened, according to a Port Authority tweet. Heavy residual delays were expected.
The latest suicide attempt comes just days after the PAPD’s “suicide squad” was ordered not to pull potential jumpers to safety, but instead wait until the department’s Emergency Service Unit arrives.
The move was said to protect the officers, who have been asked to wear harnesses to prevent them from falling themselves while responding toa possible suicide attempt. Officers saved 70 people last year from jumping off the bridge, and 230 in total since 2014, without the harnesses.
“We took an oath to protect people. We are going to prevent the loss of a life if there is something we can do about it,” a PAPD source told the New York Daily News.
Please be advised GWB Bridge upper level closed for police activity. Both directions.— NYPD 34th Precinct (@NYPD34Pct) February 24, 2017
The GWB Upper in both directions has all lanes blocked for Police Activity. Cars are advised to use the lower level. — G W Bridge Alerts (@PANYNJ_GWB) February 24, 2017
Manhattan: EDP threatening to jump off the George Washington Bridge. EDP is pointing firearm at officers. Bridge is shutdown— New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) February 24, 2017
Manhattan: Armed EDP threatening to jump off George Washington Bridge U/D PAPD in conversation with the EDP. Firearm recovered. Heavy delays— New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) February 24, 2017
The alert at the GWB Upper to NJ due to Police activity is no longer in effect. All lanes have been reopened. There may be residual delays.— G W Bridge Alerts (@PANYNJ_GWB) February 24, 2017