Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rash of Jumpers?

Two Perish in New GWB Suicides
(Photos by David Greene)

By David Greene

For the second time in less than a month, two individuals have jumped to their deaths within hours or days of each other.

According to the Port Authority Police Department, the first incident was reported at 2:45 p.m., on May 9. The second person was spotted jumping off the bridge on Sunday, May 13, at 3:40 p.m.

Regarding the first incident, PAPD press officer Al Dellafave stated, "Witnesses said they observed him on the walkway, at the rail, and that body has not been recovered as of yet."

"Both times," Dellafave continued, "Harbor patrol and the Coast Guard searched, but still those bodies have not been recovered," and neither victim has been identified.

Dellafave could not recall April 1, when two individuals jumped within hours of each other with one body washing up in Manhattan, the other was discovered floating in the Spuyten Duyvil Creek near the Metro North station in Riverdale.
Dellafave explained, "We have so many, they kind of blend into one another."

Asked if there has been an increase in suicides since Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University student leaped to his death in a highly publicized incident back in September, 2010, Dellafave responded, "No, it's about standard. I don't remember the numbers last year, but we run about eight to fifteen a year."

The press officer continued, "With the George Washington Bridge, the issue there is there is a parking lot and then there's a walkway, so if people have a notion to do that, you can always gain access."

Meanwhile, the FDNY reported a body was discovered in the Hudson River near Battery Park in lower Manhattan at just before 7 a.m. The NYPD reported a second body was pulled from the Manhattan side of the Spuyten Duyvil Creek at 7:30 p.m.

Police say both bodies were too decomposed to be the George Washington Bridge jumpers from Sunday.     

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