KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville Police Department crisis negotiators stopped a man from acting on suicidal intentions at an interstate overpass Sunday evening.
Officers responded to a report of a man standing on the guardrail of the Baxter Avenue bridge over I-275 just before 9 p.m. Sunday. Officers attempted to speak with the man, who was threatening to jump off of the bridge.
KPD negotiators were requested and immediately responded to the scene. The 37-year-old man stepped off the guardrail after 2 hours of careful negotiations and was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
One of the negotiators rode with the man in the ambulance to ensure that he felt safe and comforted until being left in the care of hospital staff.
“I am proud of the compassionate and empathetic response of our officers to assist an individual in crisis,” Chief of Police Eve Thomas said. “Crisis negotiators responded without hesitation to help deescalate this situation, while a multitude of Central Business District and West District officers pitched in to ensure this came to a successful resolution. This was a team effort with one singular purpose in mind – to help a person in need.”