Officers Save Man From Jumping From Highway Overpass

Apr 6, 2016Press Release

Cook County Sheriff’s Officers talked a man out of jumping from a highway overpass, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

At approximately 10:25 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, Sheriff’s Police received a 9-1-1 call about a man on northbound IL-394 between Sauk Trail and Lincoln Highway who was despondent and feeling suicidal. The responding officers saw a man sitting on the edge of an overpass, threatening to jump.

Other responding officers shut down the highway and attempted to halt the trains from using the tracks below the overpass. However, one of the trains was too close to the location to stop it from passing.

Officer Eugene Butler, a trained hostage negotiator who also has crisis intervention training, began talking to the man. As the freight train rolled by, Officer Butler kept the man’s focus on him and their conversation. After talking for some time, Officer Butler convinced the man not to jump. The 40-year-old Park Forest man was taken by ambulance to an area hospital for observation.

The other officers who responded and assisted at the scene were Lt. Michael Goldsmith, Sgt. Matthew Gena, Sgt. Christopher Olejarz and officers Rob Waller, Kevin Walsh, Joe Phillips, Harry Vance, Christie Urso, Tommie Hall and Sam Suffern.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these officers whose compassion, patience and quick thinking helped save this man’s life,” Sheriff Dart said.