Society

MLB Umpire Prevents Suicide Before Game In Pittsburgh

| by Alex Scarr

An MLB umpire helped prevent a woman from taking her own life at the Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

John Tumpane, 34, was walking along the Roberto Clemente Bridge before his scheduled game at PNC Park, just a few steps away, when he noticed a woman standing on the opposite side of the railing, dangling over the Allegheny River, according to MLB.com.

Tumpane approached her, wary of scaring the woman into jumping, and began talking to her in an attempt to coax her back over the railing.

"I said ‘No c’mon, let me buy you lunch,'" Tumpane recalled, reports NBC News. "'Why don’t you come back on this side? We’ll talk things over and it’ll all work out.'" As Tumpane was talking with the woman, he mouthed to a passerby to call 911 and worked with other bystanders to help secure the woman until paramedics arrived.

"I couldn't tell you how long we were waiting for everyone else to get in place," Tumpane told WPXI. "Obviously another power comes into be when you're hanging on and you know what the alternative is of you letting go and not having other people to help you."

One of the passersby who stopped to help was a multimedia director for one of the baseball teams whose game Tumpane was scheduled to umpire. The two men had never met before that day, and it was just happenstance that they both crossed the bridge and saw the woman.

"Figured any way I could help do something," said Michael Weinman, according to MLB.com. "People were trying to tell her, 'We love you. You're loved. People want you here. That's why we're all here.'"

Weinman laid down on the ground to reach through the railing and grab the woman's legs to prevent her from falling. As he spoke with MLB.com, his arms were bruised from reaching under the rail.

Police and paramedics arrived on the scene to help guide the woman back across the railing, creating a harness with a sheet to help stabilize her as they lifted her back to safety.

After police secured the woman on the bridge, Tumpane went over and got the woman's name and told her he would pray for her. When the woman said Tumpane would soon forget her, Tumpane assured her that he would not.

"This was an unbelievable day, and I'm glad to say she can have another day with us," he said. "And I'm glad I was in the right place at the right time. I hope she's doing OK. I hope she has the family support that I know I would have in my family, and hopefully this was just a bad day with a good ending."

Sources: MLB.com, NBC News, WPXI / Photo credit: Chris Connelly/Wikimedia Commons, Pittsburgh Tourism Media via Expedia.comAdam Stone/Wikimedia Commons

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