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Writing and Reporting by Jenna Duncan

Lawrence officer rescues man who jumped 60 feet from Merrimack bridge

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Published May 23, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

A Lawrence police officer rescued a man who jumped off a bridge and fell 60 feet into the Merrimack River on Sunday night, officials said.

Officer Joseph Padellaro plucked Julio Santiago, 21, from the water, Police Chief John Romero said.

Santiago had been texting his ex-girlfriend indicating he was going to commit suicide, Romero said. She called police, who were dispatched to all three bridges in the area.

Officers found Santiago on the Central Bridge and tried to speak with him, but he jumped anyway.

“That’s a tough bridge to survive because of the water current there and it’s so cold,” Romero said.

Police were stationed along the riverbank and tried to send out flotation devices but could not retrieve Santiago. Padellaro was the last officer stationed along the river, and jumped into the water to grab Santiago, Romero said.

Padellaro was able to grab Santiago’s belt and bring him to shore, where Lawrence firefighters and an ambulance were able to treat Santiago.

He was taken to Lawrence General Hospital for treatment and evaluation. Though Santiago’s current condition is unknown, Romero said he didn’t believe the injuries were serious.

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Written by jdunccc

May 23, 2011 at 11:00 am

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