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State trooper talks Kokomo woman off bridge

Posted at 6:07 PM, Mar 11, 2016

KOKOMO, Ind. -- Indiana State Police are crediting a trooper's words with keeping a woman from jumping off a Kokomo bridge this week.

Around 4:00 p.m. Thursday, Master Trooper Joe Swisher was crossing the Wayne Street Bridge when he saw a 21-year-old Kokomo woman had climbed over the bridge's railing and appeared to be preparing to jump into the Wabash River approximately 30 feet below.

According to State Police, Swisher got out of his car and, over the course of a 15-minute conversation, managed to convince the "very despondent" woman not to jump:

Trooper Swisher stopped on the bridge and started an approximately 15 minute conversation with the very despondent woman. She indicated she was going to harm herself by jumping from the bridge. She did not believe anyone cared about her. Trooper Swisher told the woman he cared about her and extended his hand for the woman to take. She took his hand. At this point, Swisher grabbed her arm and assisted her from the ledge of the bridge. She climbed over the railing and hugged the very relieved trooper. While Trooper Swisher was trying to convince the woman not to jump, officers from the Peru Police Department blocked traffic from entering both ends of the bridge.

The woman was taken for a medical check at Dukes Memorial Hospital, after which she was transferred to the Four County Counseling Center in Logansport.

State Police said Swisher stayed with the woman for several hours after the encounter on the bridge because he "wanted her to know he did care about what happened to her."

Swisher is a 21-year veteran of the Indiana State Police assigned to the commercial vehicle enforcement division.

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