MLB Umpire Saves Suicidal Woman

He says she was preparing to jump from bridge
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 29, 2017 2:48 AM CDT
MLB Umpire Saves Suicidal Woman
Major League umpire John Tumpane talks about a woman who hopped over a railing of the Roberto Clemente Bridge over the Allegheny River on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, in Pittsburgh.   (Gene J. Puskar)

John Tumpane can't explain why he approached the woman as she hopped over the railing of the Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh on Wednesday afternoon. The woman told Tumpane she just wanted to get a better view of the Allegheny River below. The look on her face and the tone of her voice suggested otherwise to Tumpane, a major league baseball umpire in town to work the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays, the AP reports. So Tumpane reached for the woman even as she urged him to let her go. "She said, 'I just want to end it right now. I want to be in a better place,'" he tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I said, 'You're going to be all right.'"

As the woman tried to break from his grip, Tumpane secured one of her arms. A bystander walked up and grabbed the other while another—Mike Weinman, an employee for the Rays—clutched her legs and pinned them to the railing while Tumpane mouthed to someone in the crowd to call 911. They clung to the unidentified woman until emergency responders arrived. Police say the woman was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Tumpane says he was glad to help, but he doesn't consider himself a hero. "I just happened to be there," he says. "I think I've been a caring person in my life. I saw somebody in need, and it looked like a situation to obviously insert myself and help out." (Read more umpire stories.)

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