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AMHERST MAN THWARTED IN BID TO JUMP FROM BRIDGE

A despondent Amherst man threatening to jump off the top of the northbound North Grand Island Bridge late Wednesday was grabbed by a state trooper and a Niagara Falls city detective before he had a chance.

The 56-year-old man was admitted to the Erie County Medical Center's psychiatric unit for evaluation, State Police Sgt. William Pistner said. The incident, which began at about 8:35 p.m. and lasted 40 minutes, caused traffic to back up about three miles onto the island.

Police arrived at the scene when the man was spotted hanging onto the outside rail of the bridge. Troopers Brian Finley and John McCusker and Detective Carl Berak persuaded him to climb back over onto the bridge sidewalk while they promised to keep back on the roadway side of the bridge railing. They then grabbed him.

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