A despondent man preparing to jump from a Route 59 bridge into the DuPage River Monday afternoon was talked out of taking his own life by an Illinois State Police officer, Master Sgt. Jeff Padilla said.
Trooper Ken Gurney spotted the man standing on the bridge at about 3:50 p.m. and considered it odd enough to stop and find out what he was doing, Padilla said. The bridge is between Caton Farm and Rolf roads, adjacent to Wedgewood Golf Course in Joliet.
Just as he reached the man, a car pulled up and a woman, later identified as the man's girlfriend, shouted that the man was planning to commit suicide, he said.
"Our trooper made contact with him and persuaded him to let (the trooper) take him into protective custody," Padilla said.
Gurney, a 16-year state police veteran who has spent his entire career working in Will and Grundy counties, has been called upon before to help people contemplating suicide, Padilla said.
"He not only talked him away from the edge of the bridge, he volunteered to transport him to the hospital," he said.
The man, described as being in his 20s and having financial and relationship problems, was admitted for evaluation at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Padilla said.