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Missouri man stopped from making another suicide attempt at Chester Bridge

  • Chester Police Chief Ryan Coffey and other first responders search Horse Island south of the Chester Bridge on Monday afternoon for an individual believed to be intending suicide.

    Chester Police Chief Ryan Coffey and other first responders search Horse Island south of the Chester Bridge on Monday afternoon for an individual believed to be intending suicide.
    Pete Spitler/Herald Tribune

 
By Pete Spitler
Editor@heraldtrib.com
updated: 12/12/2017 2:17 PM

A Perryville man who was intending to commit suicide by jumping off the Chester Bridge on Dec. 2 is believed to have intended another attempt on Monday afternoon, according to Perry County (Missouri) Sheriff Gary Schaaf.

"I don't know if anyone ever saw him on the bridge," Schaaf said. "We did find him and had somebody speak with him."

As they did two weeks ago, officers with the Chester Police Department and deputies from the Perry County and Randolph County sheriff's offices responded to search for the unnamed individual. Perry County Ambulance and MedStar Ambulance also responded.

According to police scanner traffic, the man's mother was at the scene.

"I know somebody spoke to the mother," Schaaf said. "He was OK and is receiving help as he did last time."

The Cape Girardeau Fire Department's water rescue team was placed on standby as the search continued along the Mississippi River both upstream and downstream of the bridge. Schaaf once again commended the agencies involved with their quick response.

Scanner traffic indicated the individual's vehicle was found at the old Claryville ferry landing on the opposite side of the Mississippi River from the Chester boat ramp, which gave officers a starting point for their search.

"He was found south of the bridge on the Missouri side," Schaaf said. "He didn't get as far as he did last time."

Schaaf said he had stopped to get one of his agency's two drones and was en route to the scene when the individual was found. In the Dec. 2 incident, Chester Fire Department Lt. Charlie Bargman II used his personal drone to scan the river in case the man had jumped.

One of the Perry County Sheriff's Office's drones is equipped with a thermal imaging camera, which helps find people at night. The technology saves on the cost of renting a helicopter or plane.

"It really comes in handy in search and rescue," Schaaf said.

 
 
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