A lifelong Raiders fan was described by police as a hero after he broke the fall and saved the life of a woman who jumped from the upper deck of the Coliseum in an apparent suicide attempt.
About 15 minutes after the end of the Raiders' loss to the Titans, the unidentified woman climbed to the top of section 301, a tarped-off area behind the East end zone that is closed to the public. Two men on the 200-level concourse saw her and tried to persuade her not to jump, repeatedly shouting "don't do it."
The woman jumped about 50 feet to the concourse below, and the man—a 61-year-old marine corps veteran from Stockton, Calif.—attempted to catch her.
"He saved her life quite honestly, at his own expense," [Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. J.D.] Nelson said. "This guy 100 percent saved her life. She'd be dead now."
The woman was knocked unconscious in the fall and is currently at a local hospital in critical condition. The good samaritan was injured too, but he's awake and expected to survive. "Even now, at the hospital he's very concerned about her," said Nelson, who visited the man at the hospital last night.
This horrifying scene was very different from the one in Buffalo last week, where a fan lost his balance while sliding down an upper-deck railing and plummeted to the seats below, injuring a man underneath him. That was an accident. Police don't know why the woman at the Raiders game jumped, only that they believe it was deliberate.
By any account, the man who broke her fall represents the best of fans.
"Raiders fans sometimes get a bad rap, but here was this guy who did an amazing, heroic thing to try to save this woman's life," Nelson said. "He did everything he could, including putting himself at great risk. There's not a lot of people who would do that, and he did it."