MESCAL – A 23 year-old man who planned to jump to his death off the Mescal/J-Six Bridge was talked off the ledge by an off-duty sergeant of the Tombstone Marshal’s Office on Sunday, reported the Herald Review.
Sergeant Travis Mattern used his patrol vehicle to block traffic and then “ran up the exit ramp to make contact with the subject,” said Marshal Bob Randall, knowing “that the subject was threatening to jump from the bridge over those lanes.”
Sgt. Mattern had been driving home to spend time with his family when he noticed dispatch putting out a call for reports of a suicidal man. Mattern advised his fellow officers that he was in the area, and quickly responded to the scene.
Other motorists had stopped their vehicles on the bridge and were pleading with the young man to step back off of the ledge. It wasn’t until Mattern arrived, however, that the situation began to defuse.
“Sgt. Mattern began speaking with the subject, and immediately gained his trust, which was evident as the subject reached out with his arm,” commented Randall. “The sergeant took control of the man, removed him from the ledge, and comforted him.”
The man was uninjured, but due to the severity of the situation, he was transported to the local Banner UMC South. Mattern rode along with him to the medical center. The man in question has not been identified, but it was reported that he had been fighting with his girlfriend, which eventually led to his actions atop the bridge.
Mattern was commended for his efforts, as he was clearly “instrumental in saving the life of a young man in the midst of a bad decision.”
This is just another example of how officers never truly take off the badge. There is no such thing as “off-duty.” Sgt. Mattern had been using comp time to spend the day with his family, but when the call was made, his instincts kicked in. Every officer has answered that call to serve. Every emergency responder knows the drive to step up and take control of a tough situation. They are the few. The peacemakers. The protectors.