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Armed, Suicidal Man On TZ Bridge Brought To Safety

Police: Rockland man drove back-and-forth until he ran out of gas.

A Rockland County man who contemplated shooting himself is being evaluted at Westchester Medical Center today after he was brought to safety by a New York State Thruway Authority wrecker crew on the Tappan Zee Bridge, according to State Police.

The 32-year-old man ran out of gas on the Rockland County side of the Tappan Zee Bridge, northbound, at about 8:34 a.m. Saturday. Police said the man, who has not yet been charged with a crime, apparently drove back and forth in the area until he ran out of gas.

A two-man wrecker crew went to the man's aid and successfully got him off the bridge. Police said the man was also considering jumping off the bridge, however, his car ran out of gas on the low section of the bridge.

Members of the bridge wrecker crew, William Kay and Domenick V. Giovinazzo, discovered that the man was suicidal and had a gun when they went to investigate what at first seemed like a routine disabled car on the bridge. Police said the man obtained the gun from an acquaintance and an investigation is continuing into that part of the incident.

Police said the suicidal man did not threaten Kay or Giovinazzo.

The Rockland man was taken to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, where he was admitted for evaluation. Police are uncertain when the man will be released back into their custody. At that time, police said the man was face a possible charge of criminal possession of a weapon.

Shortly after this incident, the bridge was shut down because of a car fire, which required volunteer firefighters from the Central Nyack Fire Department. Police said no one was injured in the car, although the bridge deck and a barrier were charred by the flames.

These two incidents round out a busy week for police and emergency crews on the bridge. On Monday, a 54-year-old Rockland County man who was fired in 2008 from his county job as a substance abuse counselor waged a protest in which he hung below the bridge on a perch connected to a rope ladder.

Michael Davitt was safely brought to shore in Tarrytown after more than three hours on his perch about 75 feet above the Hudson River. He is due back in court in Westchester this week to face a number of misdemeanor charges from the incident.

Lanning Taliaferro November 14, 2011 at 06:30 PM
Hi, Marie, please let me know about any article on Patch you see without a date.
Steph November 14, 2011 at 09:37 PM
Joe, they have put up the same fencing like you mention. One instance occurred where a couple jumped from the bridge after climbing up onto the roof of their car and then jumping over the fencing. And they also installed the suicide hotline phones but I don't believe they have ever been used.
Glenn Radcliffe November 15, 2011 at 02:08 PM
If it is illegal to stop on the bridge, wouldn't you be breaking the law by using one of the Hotlines? Another similar question, radio and tv listeners/watchers are advised to call local stations to alert them to traffic tie-up. But, if it is illegal to use a cell phone while driving, wouldn't the tipster be breaking the law by calling in?
Barbara P November 15, 2011 at 09:32 PM
To Thomas Humbach: What is wrong with you? Of course ths person MAY go to jail and of course he'll have a record and no, it won't make his life any worse. If anything, it will HOPEFULLY make it better. THANK GOD! he didn't hurt anyone. He did have a GUN & people who are already mentally & emotionally disturbed enough to ATTEMPT to take their own life, what makes you think that the situation couldn't have escalated. NOONE knows what's going through anyones head when they are already at the brink of suicide. The emergency workers who went to this mans aid were very lucky, the police officers & everyone else envolved were very lucky this man didn't try to take others with him. SO YES, this man WILL go in front of a JUDGE! Then he will be placed where the JUDGE deems will be the best for this man. Maybe a Psychiatric facility, maybe jail. I think that everything ended quite well. And what's with the BOO HOO he'll have a record, and BOO HOO. ACTUALLY, this was a CRY for HELP! Because you don't need to bring a gun to a bridge if you ententions are to jump. Now that he is in custody, he will get the help he so desperately needs. And I know that everyone is entitled to their opinion, & you to yours, but still, what the hell were you thinking? The system is in place for a reason. It is there to HELP everyone . God Bless the emergency workers, the police officers & the firemen. They all did their job & did it well and everyone went home ALIVE.
Barbara P November 15, 2011 at 09:44 PM
To Glen: I had called 911 numerous times while driving to report drunk drivers and other hazzards. I told them right off that I was calling while driving but if I stopped to call them I wouldn't be able to aid them. To date, I have NEVER gotten a ticket for calling them from the road.

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