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BPD officers successfully talk suicidal woman down from Hughes Lane overpass

Posted: 12:05 PM, Mar 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-16 15:07:12-04
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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Three Bakersfield Police officers are receiving recognition after successfully talking a suicidal woman down from the Hughes Lane overpass on SR-58.

Around 8:15 p.m. on February 13, BPD says Officers Elizabeth Martin, Ryan Ryder and Senior Officer Keith Schlecht responded to a suicidal person threatening to jump from the Hughes Lane overpass on SR-58 into the traffic traveling below. When officers responded, they found a woman had positioned herself on the exterior side of the chain link fence that borders the overpass crossing.

BPD says Senior Officer Schlect and Officer Ryder arrived at the scene and worked together to secure the area, remove all bystanders from the overpass, and restrict pedestrians from walking onto the crossing.

Officer Martin arrived and began to talk with the woman, who continued to position herself on the overpass so she could jump. BPD says the woman told Officer Martin she was distraught over a prior conversation she had with her daughter. BPD says Officer Martin related to the woman that she was her daughter's age and she also sometimes tells her mother things she regrets. Officer Martin refocused the woman on her, despite the woman's multiple attempts to turn and face the freeway.

BPD says Officer Martin patiently talked the woman through how to safely walk to the north end of the overpass, where Senior Officer Schlect helped her down. Once off of the overpass, BPD says Officer Martin continued to stabilize the woman with a hug and kept her calm until the MET team arrived.