Photo/Story Gallery 2006

Troopers Avert Tragedy on Bridge

photo of Trooper Charles Edwards Florida’s famous Sunshine Skyway bridge attracts all kinds – some thrill seekers, and some spectators. On a recent sunny afternoon on top of the bridge, troopers stopped traffic for a few minutes while they did their job to prevent what could have been a real tragedy.

Trooper Charles Edwards (left) was parked on top of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge during a recent shift, when a cab driver approached him and told him that a customer he was driving to Bradenton had just jumped out of the cab and run to the edge of the bridge. Trooper Edwards responded to find a man who claimed to be armed standing partially hanging over the cement barrier wall.

photo of Trooper Dan ColeSince the suspect was thought to be armed, troopers were called for back-up to stop traffic on the bridge. Meanwhile, Trooper Edwards began to speak with the suspect, hoping to gain his trust until help arrived. Moments later, Trooper Dan Cole (right)  arrived and assessed the situation. When the opportunity presented itself, Trooper Cole charged the man, placing him into a tight bear hug and pulling him down to the ground. Trooper Edwards immediately gripped the subject’s hands while Trooper Cole secured the suspect.

The suspect was then searched and transported to a local hospital where he was Baker Acted by the FHP. Quick thinking, fast action, and bravery on the part of our troopers prevented a disaster and only inconvenienced the motoring public for less than ten minutes – great job!