In a typical year, the average number of suicides is somewhere around 130 a day. In recent months, it seems there have been more attempts than usual.
However, in one Ohio town, a state trooper and a handful of onlookers prevented one young man from being added to that statistic.
A Rainy Day in Lorain
As Ohio state trooper Michael Wearsch was on his way to the cities courthouse, when a motorist flagged him down. He was told that there was a man sitting on the bridge and it looked like he was going to jump.
Wearsch went directly to the Charles Berry Bridge. He quickly saw the 18-year-old. As he walked toward him, he radioed dispatchers to let them know the situation.
In the dashboard camera video you can hear Wearsch saying, “He’s just standing on the edge. He’s got his cell phone.”
Rain was pouring down onto the bridge, and drivers were beginning to stop. Wearsch made a split-second decision to grab the young man and pull him back over the railing.
According to WKYC, Wearsch says he was “able to walk up to him, grab him, and put another arm around him.” However, he says he did not save the young man on his own.
“I had five Good Samaritans – whether they were citizens or Lorain PD. [They] just all ran up, and we were all able to put hands on him and tell him everything was going to be alright. I’d like to think of myself as a strong guy, but I can’t hold on to somebody forever. Just to have them there, it was great.”Michael Wearsch
One of the bystanders was Lorain Police Captain Roger Watkins and his paramedic son, Crae. According to Fox 8, they and a few others helped Wearsch get the man to safety before Lorain officers arriving.
Everyone involved assured the man that they were there to ensure that he was ok. The man was taken to the hospital to be treated.
Training and Instincts
Wearsch relied on his training to get the 18-year-old to safety, as did the Lorain police captain and his son. The quick thinking of the motorist who flagged Wearsch down helped bring a positive conclusion to this situation.