NEWS RELEASE · 21st July 2010
New Hazelton RCMP
The New Hazelton RCMP had repeat encounters with the same suicidal male this weekend and were successful in dissuading the 28 yr old male from jumping from the Hagwilget Bridge near New Hazelton, BC, on two occasions. Police had a third encounter with the man on Monday where he was arrested at a residence for breaching a no contact order stemming from a domestic assault investigation.
RCMP contact with the male began on Friday July 16th, 2010, when the New Hazelton RCMP responded to a report of a suspicious male at the Hagwilget Bridge. The officers attended and encountered a distraught 28 year old male threatening suicide. Uniformed RCMP officers engaged the man in conversation for several hours after which he agreed to be accompanied by a local mental health worker to be transported to Wrinch Memorial hospital for assessment and release from police custody. Following medical assessment the male was released from the hospital's care shortly after.
On Saturday July 17th, 2010, at 9 pm, this same male was now located by the police midspan on the bridge threatening to again jump. The Hagwilget Bridge was closed down for approximately five hours while negotiators from the local community, family and the RCMP attempted to communicate with the male who eventually agreed to attend to the local hospital for an evaluation a second time.
Police became aware of the man’s second release from care on Monday July 19th, 2010, when officers from the New Hazelton RCMP responded to a report of a domestic disturbance in New Hazelton. Upon attendance the police located a male and female at a residence. This male was familiar and confirmed as being the same male who had previously threatened to jump off of a local bridge the previous Friday and Saturday evenings. The 28 year old male was arrested for breaching his undertaking to have no contact with the female stemming from a previous domestic assault.
While transporting the male to police custody he then threatened to harm himself while in custody and was immediately transported to Wrinch Memorial Hospital for a mental health assessment. The male was cleared and released by medical staff and police custody by way of promise to appear compelling his appearance in Smithers Provincial Court on September 17th, 2010.
The New Hazelton RCMP would like to thank the community groups that assisted during these stressful incidents, including the Hagwilget, New Hazelton and Gitanmaax Fire Departments, Search and Rescue, Gitanmaax Chief and Council, F.A.S.T., Gitsxan Health, Smithers and Terrace RCMP and other community members who supplied water and support during the second incident on Saturday July 17th.
On July 20th, the New Hazelton RCMP facilitated a joint meeting with the Northern Health and North Mental Health authorities in order to determine a proper community contingency plan to assist this individual.