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Man restrained by public after threatening to jump off Torridge Bridge

By e_glanfield  |  Posted: October 22, 2013

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A man had to be restrained by members of the public after climbing onto the wrong side of the railings on Torridge Bridge this morning.

Two members of the public held back the man who was seen leaning off the bridge at around 7.36am.

A member of the public raised the alarm with the emergency services and at least four police cars and an ambulance were sent to the scene.

Police said the 51-year-old man, who is from Bideford, parked near the bridge before climbing onto it and over the railings. Officers were concerned for the man’s safety and said the tide was in at the time of the incident.

He was seen holding onto the railings but leaning off the bridge when two members of the public held him back until police arrived.

Ian Walls, a spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “Thanks go to those quick-thinking members of the public who were able to hold onto the man until police arrived so he could be brought to safety.

“They should be praised for their actions.”

The man was brought back onto the safety of the bridge by police and detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act at around 7.45am.

He was taken into custody by police where he is due to be assessed and taken to hospital if necessary. His next of kin has been informed of the incident.

Motorists were caught up in traffic delays due to the incident, with reports of a 10 minute waiting time to cross the bridge.

The road has since cleared.

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