Tonawanda News

The City

May 29, 2014

Police avert teen's suicide

Tonawanda News — A 19-year-old North Tonawanda man who jumped in the Niagara River early Wednesday in an apparent suicide attempt was rescued by police after nearly an hour of negotiations. 

Police were called to rescue the teenager, whose name was not released, at 2 a.m. near Gratwick Riverside Park. The man swam away from shore as members of the North Tonawanda Dive Team were called to the scene, prompting the assistance of City of Tonawanda Police who used their police boat to locate the man. 

Tonawanda Police Lt. Scott Sheehan said when he and Officer Tom Harmon arrived in the police boat to the park’s vicinity the man swam further into the middle of the river. 

“We spotted the gentleman in the water and had contact with him,” Sheehan said. “But he was refusing to get in the boat.” 

For approximately 40 minutes Sheehan said they attempted to coax the man into the boat as he continued to tread water, eventually convincing him to grab a life jacket. 

“You could see that he was getting tired and cold,” Sheehan said. “There were a lot of negotiations and eventually he swam to the side of the boat.”

North Tonawanda Police Capt. Tom Krantz said members of his department as well as a number of firefighters were also on land attempting to talk the man back to shore. 

“He jumped in the water and was obviously upset,” Krantz said. “He didn’t want to come out of the water when our guys got there.” 

At about 3 a.m., the teen was taken to shore and sent for psychological evaluation at Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital. 

No charges have been filed.

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