Person talked off bridge

Route 11 bridge at I80 jumper

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Police shut down a portion of state Route 11 Tuesday afternoon because a man threatened to jump off the bridge over Interstate 80.

Police talked the man down and took him away in an ambulance. The man was standing on the Mosier Road bridge around noon on Tuesday and the Ohio State Highway Patrol asked for the portion of state Route 11 that runs underneath the bridge to be closed.

Police said Stephen West, 54, of Girard, was helped off the bridge by a bucket truck after police negotiators talked with him for about an hour and a half. He was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Police said West was unhappy with his life. Three people called 911 to report the incident, including West’s mother.

Troopers said West became abrasive initially with troopers. West at one point moved over the left westbound lane of I-80 and put a knife to his throat.

Police from Girard, Hubbard, Youngstown, the Mahoning Valley Crisis Response Team and Ohio State Highway Patrol all responded to the area.

Route 11 was closed for about two hours.

“You have a human being in front of you and you’re trying to negotiate with someone who wants to try to end their life and it’s tough emotionally, physically,” said Girard Police Capt. John Norman. “But it’s what we get paid to do and I thought everyone did a great job here.”

 

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