Two MBTA Transit Police officers saved a suicidal 26-year-old man after a tense standoff on a railroad bridge that ended with the man jumping into the Mystic River, roughly 30 feet below.
Officers Eli Bojorquez and Kenneth Phillips responded to the Sullivan Square MBTA station for a report of a man walking on the Orange Line tracks on Nov. 17. Police found the man on the Dana Bridge, which spans the river between the Sullivan Square and Wellington Station. An MBTA inspector already on the scene informed the officers the man wanted to jump.
The officers attempted to speak with the man and build up trust, but he insisted he was going to jump because he was upset over his girlfriend.
The officers coordinated with the MBTA to suspend service and power on the Orange Line, and called in a State Police marine unit as well as fire and EMT officials.
As officers crept closer to the man, all the while urging him not to jump, he fought them off and threw himself from the bridge.
Officer Bojoruquez, an MBTA officer for a year and a half, quickly scaled down the bridge facade and located the man in the water with his flashlight. He tried to coax the man out of the water, but was unsuccessful.
The man seemed to be suffering from the cold water, and he eventually came ashore. Police took him into custody and he was treated by medical personnel.
The “officers maintained their professionalism and composure during this highly charged incident,” wrote MBTA Police Chief Paul MacMillan in a letter awarding the officers a certificate of commendation.