Two Transit Police officers couldn't keep a large man from flinging himself off the Orange Line bridge over the Mystic River early on Nov. 17, but they didn't give up on him - ultimately helping him out of the cold water and into the back of a waiting ambulance.
Officers Eli Bojorquez and Kenneth Phillips will be given formal commendations at a ceremony next Wednesday for saving the man's life after his 30-foot plunge.
According to an account by Transit Police, the two responded to a report of a man walking on the Orange Line tracks near Sullivan Square around 1 a.m. About ten minutes later, a T inspector reported finding the man on the Dana Bridge, over which the Orange Line crosses the Mystic River - and that he was threatening to jump.
While on the bridge the male indicated he was despondent over his girlfriend and climbed over the railing, his body hanging over the water. The Officers walked closer to him in an attempt to dissuade him from jumping. At one point, the male leaned forward toward the tracks and attempted to pick something up off the ground.
This was an opportunity and the Officers chance to prevent injury to or the death of the suicidal male while at great risk and peril to themselves. The Officers continued to try to bring him back onto the track area. The male was a large individual and fought them, ultimately succeeded in throwing himself off the bridge and into the river.
Officer Bojorquez climbed over the railing and began to scale down the bridge faĆ§ade in an attempt to locate the male. Officer Bojorquez made it down to the ground and with his flashlight located the male who was treading water. At the same time, Officer Phillips utilized an MBTA vehicle to search for the male.
As Officer Bojorquez monitored the male, he continued to try and coax him from the wa-ter. As more time passed, he began to show signs that he may be suffering from the effects of the frigid water. Eventually, he came ashore and was taken into custody by the Officers. Without delay, he was transferred to medical personnel who were very concerned for him due to the temperature of the water and had fallen approximately 30 feet into the water.