November 19, 2015
BUTTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE CRISIS INTERVENTION DEPUTIES TALK SUICIDAL MAN OUT OF JUMPING OFF BRIDGE
Oroville, Ca—At 4:47am Butte County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a man threatening to jump off the green walking bridge on Table Mountain Blvd. in Oroville. Out of concern that the man was about to commit suicide by jumping off the bridge, BCSO deputies responded to the scene. Upon arrival, deputies found the man standing on the outside railing of the bridge. The man appeared agitated and upset. Deputies were able to identify the man; however, his identification will be withheld to protect his privacy. The man admitted he was upset that he had recently been arrested.
In an effort to facilitate negotiations and not escalate the situation, roads surrounding the area were closed to traffic. Deputies trained in Crisis Intervention spoke with the man for several hours and talked him through periods of agitation, where it appeared as though he was going to jump. Deputies were ultimately able to get the man calmed down, and he moved from a narrow outcropping to a wider spot on the bridge where he was able to sit down and was in less physical danger of falling; however, rescue personnel were not able to reach him.
As the event wore on, the man began to tell deputies that he didn’t want to jump, but that he wanted to be left alone. Deputies made repeated attempts to get the man to come out, with a promise of taking him to the hospital for an evaluation, but the man refused to come out. In addition to deputies trained in Crisis Intervention, a Sheriff’s Chaplain and two Mental Health Clinicians from Butte County Behavioral Health assisted in this process.
After a discussion regarding various options between Law Enforcement personnel and Mental Health Clinicians on scene, it was determined that the appropriate action was to pull all Law Enforcement and Emergency Service personnel back and open the roadway. The primary reasons for this decision were:
• The situation had been de-escalated.
• The man was adamant he didn’t want to jump, and the fact that he hadn’t jumped after several hours supported that assertion.
• There was a concern that if law enforcement and emergency services personnel remained on scene, the situation would escalate.
• There was no threat to public safety, and no reason to jeopardize the man’s safety or the safety of law enforcement or emergency services personnel near the bridge.
Prior to leaving, the man was provided with information on how to obtain services through Butte County Behavioral Health. BCSO recognizes the public was inconvenienced by the road closure and thanks everyone for their patience. BCSO would also like to thank Oroville Police Department, Oroville Fire and Cal Fire for their assistance in dealing with this matter.
For more information, please contact
BCSO PIO Miranda Bowersox