The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the harrowing account of umpire John Tumpane’s afternoon near the Pirates’ stadium on the Roberto Clemente Bridge, where he came across a woman who climbed over the railing and wanted to jump off.
Fearing the worst, Tumpane rushed over to the woman and tried to talk with her. He mouthed to a passerby to call 911, and, with the help of others, they restrained the woman from harming herself:
As they spoke, he said, the woman became more emotional. She cried and tried to slip from his grip. He locked both arms around her back. At times, she dangled both feet off the bridge’s edge, putting her full weight in his arms.
“I was thinking, ‘God, this has got to be a good ending, not a bad ending,’ and held on for dear life,” Tumpane said. “She said, ‘You don’t care about me.’ I said, ‘I care.’ She said, ‘I just want to end it right now. I want to be in a better place.’ I said, ‘You’re going to be all right.’ ”
Police and an ambulance arrived to ensure the woman’s safety, and they were able to lift her back over the railing. Tumpane said he got the woman’s first name, and he hopes to reconnect with her before he leaves Pittsburgh.
Here’s a short video of Tumpane describing the encounter:
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.