Police and emergency workers attend the scene on Irving Bridge in Casino where a man threatened to jump into the river below.
Police and emergency workers attend the scene on Irving Bridge in Casino where a man threatened to jump into the river below. Marc Stapelberg

Suicidal man taunted

"APPALLING" is how a senior police officer described the behaviour of passersby who told a suicidal man threatening to jump off a bridge to "jump" and "get it over with."

Emergency services were forced to close Irving Bridge at Casino for several hours after the man threatened to jump.

The rocky Richmond River was 30-40m below the bridge.

The road was closed from Friday afternoon until the early hours of Saturday morning as the VRA, SES and NSW Ambulance worked with police negotiators to defuse the situation.

The situation ended when three police officers lunged and grabbed the man and pulled him away from the edge of the bridge.

Despite the sensitive and traumatic scene, selfish bystanders who were inconvenienced by the road closure were yelling out to the suicidal man.

"People were abusing the police for blocking the road because they were inconvenienced," Richmond Local Area Command Inspector Mick Dempsey said.

"They were yelling out to the man to 'jump' and to 'get it over with'.

"It was appalling and very disappointing, considering the man's family were within hearing distance.

"It makes it a lot more stressful for the patient and the police trying to negotiate with him.

"These people did not care about the situation, only about themselves."

Insp Dempsey said the abuse went on for over an hour.

Another emergency services worker who was at the scene said two rescue operators directing traffic at one end of the bridge were spat at and abused.

The emergency services worker heard people yell at the police to just "push" the man off the bridge.

The man was taken to hospital for assessment.

 

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