BRADENTON -- Sgts. James Racky and Dennis Stahley are the co-recipients of the Bradenton Police Officer of the Month for June 2011 for their role in saving the life of a distraught man who was threatening to jump off the DeSoto Bridge.
During the afternoon of May 11, police responded to a call about a man dangling off the side of the DeSoto Bridge. Police found the man crying and upset and threatening to take his own life by jumping off the bridge. Several officers were on scene, including more near the river’s edge in the event he jumped. The Coast Guard also responded.
Sgt. Stahley talked to the distraught man in an attempt to calm him, but also to distract him. While Sgt. Stahley continued to talk to him, Sgt. Racky and other officers crept up from behind. Sgt. Racky was able to grab the man in a bear hug and pull him to safety. The man was transported to the hospital under the Baker Act.