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Officer Follows Man, Twin Daughters Over Cliff

Everyone expected to survive
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2020 4:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's a harrowing story, so we'll start right now by telling you it has a positive ending. San Diego police Officer Jonathan Wiese was searching for a man early Saturday who was said to be suicidal. The man had left home with his twin 2-year-old daughters around 4:30am, and his wife said he planned to drive off a bridge. (CBS 8 reports she had filed for divorce in April, citing domestic violence.) But Wiese was nearly at Sunset Cliffs when he got the radio call that the man had driven off the cliffs instead, as an officer got close. Within moments, he was at the scene, and saw the man holding onto the two girls amid the wreckage in the rocks and water below. Then Wiese jumped into action.

Wiese, a K-9 officer, grabbed the 100-foot leash used for SWAT missions and tied one end around his body, NBC San Diego reports. Handing the other end to other officers on the scene, "I said, ‘Hey, hang on. I’m going,'" Wiese recounts to the San Diego Union-Tribune. He rappelled about 30 feet, at which point he got in the water and swam to the partially submerged truck. He got underneath the man, who was treading water while holding both girls, and swam under them to push them ashore while keeping them above water. Though one toddler appeared "lifeless" when Wiese got to the trio, all are expected to survive after being hoisted up the cliff and taken to the hospital; a GoFundMe for the girls says they are in stable condition. The 47-year-old father faces charges including attempted murder, kidnapping, burglary, and child cruelty, 10 News reports. (Read more San Diego stories.)

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