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Suicidal man rescued from Maple Bridge pedestrian cage

Wed., Nov. 24, 2010, 8:10 a.m.

A suicidal man was pulled from the top of a pedestrian enclosure on the Maple Street Bridge this morning by Spokane police officers who held the man from falling into the river.

The man told officers several times to “let me go” and allow him to fall to death in the Spokane River below.

The incident occurred shortly after 3 a.m. with temperatures below zero when a passerby spotted the man on the top of the heavy wire enclosure that protects pedestrians from traffic.

Officers tried to talk the man off the enclosure, even climbing onto the structure to rescue him.

Two officers got down on their bellies and tried to reach the man, grabbing him and holding him so he wouldn’t fall into the river below, according to a news release this morning.

The man gave up any attempt to hang on, leaving the officers in a situation where their grip and strength were keeping him from falling.

A third officer retrieved bolt cutters from one of the police cars and cut a hole large enough in the chain-link cage to pull the man to safety. He was taken to a local hospital after an examination by Spokane firefighters.

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