CHP officer stops woman from jumping off bridge on Hwy. 49

-- CHPNovember 16, 2012 

California Highway Patrol officer Tony Lassos has been credited with preventing a suicide by a 34-year-old Mariposa County resident on Nov. 6

At about 3:45 p.m., officer Lassos was traveling northbound on Highway 49 approaching the William Sell Bridge near the Mariposa/Madera County line when he observed a white truck parked on the right shoulder, just north of the bridge, and the woman standing on the west edge of the bridge.

The woman was gripping the rail and looking down over the edge of the bridge. Lassos positioned his patrol vehicle to block the southbound lane, exited his patrol vehicle and approached the woman who was shaking and crying. He spoke to the female, asking her several times to come away from the railing and talk to him. She would not speak, make eyes contact, or acknowledge Lassos in any way.

As Lassos moved to within 10 feet of the woman, she lifted her right leg up onto the railing and began to climb up onto it. Lassos grabbed the female around the shoulders and pulled her off and away from the railing. She began sobbing and told the officer she just couldn't take it anymore.

Lassos placed the woman into protective custody and called for an ambulance. The Mariposa County Sheriff's Department responded and officer Lassos turned the woman over to Deputy Anthony Yanni, who placed a hold on the female, per section 5150 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Lassos was a member of the Oakhurst Area CHP for 7 years, before recently transferring to the Mariposa office.

"It saddened me that someone in my community was going through that kind of emotional pain," Lassos said. "I'm glad I was there to help."

Lassos is married and the couple have two sons who attend Yosemite High School.

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