Ceres Police officers were credited with the rescue of a man perched on the Hatch Road freeway overpass intent on jumping to end his life on Saturday afternoon.
Police were called at 1:27 p.m. about a visibly upset 23-year-old man in the area of Mitchell Road and Whitmore Avenue who was punching at and lunging toward vehicles. Police scoured the area but could not locate him. About 20 minutes later, a relative of the same man called 911 to report he was suicidal and left the house upset over a break-up. A second search failed to locate the man. At 2:25 p.m. the relative called again, this time saying the distraught man was located at Summary Market at Nadine Avenue and Herndon Road. He told dispatchers that the man had just run south on Herndon Road from Nadine Avenue.
Around the same time, 911 calls began coming into dispatch advising of a “jumper” on the Hatch Road overpass. Officer Mike Vierra was first to respond and saw the man sitting on the guardrail on the north side of the overpass with his legs danglihg over the railing and balancing on the guard rail. Vierra parked his car approximately 15 yards from the man and noted the man was crying and extremely emotional. Vierra slowly approached the man and called out his name, asking him to come back over the railing however he began to slide forward off the railing. After several minutes of conversation, Officer Vierra positioned himself close enough to grab him and pull him to safety.
Officer Lorenzo Beltran had arrived as Officer Vierra was speaking to the male and witnessed Officer Vierra pull the male back over the railing. Officer Beltran assisted in securing the male in a patrol unit.
The man was taken to Doctors Medical Center for a psychological evaluation.