Peru – The caring words of Master Trooper Joe Swisher kept a 21 year-old Kokomo woman from jumping off a bridge into the cold water of the Wabash River.
Trooper Swisher was conducting routine patrol on U.S. 124 east of Peru, IN. He was crossing the Wayne Street Bridge when he observed a female, who had climbed over the bridge’s railing, and appeared to be preparing to jump into the Wabash River, approximately 30 feet below.
Trooper Swisher stopped on the bridge and started an approximately 15 minute conversation with the very despondent woman. She indicated she was going to harm herself by jumping from the bridge. She did not believe anyone cared about her. Trooper Swisher told the woman he cared about her and extended his hand for the woman to take. She took his hand. At this point, Swisher grabbed her arm and assisted her from the ledge of the bridge. She climbed over the railing and hugged the very relieved trooper. While Trooper Swisher was trying to convince the woman not to jump, officers from the Peru Police Department blocked traffic from entering both ends of the bridge.
The woman was taken for a medical check at Dukes Memorial Hospital. She was cleared medically and then transferred to the Four County Counseling Center in Logansport, IN. She was placed on a 72 hour mental evaluation hold. Trooper Swisher stayed with the woman until approximately 7:00 p.m. He wanted her to know he did care about what happened to her.
Master Trooper Swisher is a 21 year veteran of the Indiana State Police. He is assigned to the Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division.