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.