Sheriff's deputies rescue suicidal man on Bridge of the Gods

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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Two officers from Skamania and Hood River counties intervened just in time to prevent a suicidal man from Portland from jumping off the Bridge of the Gods early Tuesday, according to the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office.

Hood River Sheriff’s Office received a call at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday from Portland Police Department with a report that a Portland man in his 60s had left a suicide note at his Sellwood-area home that outlined his plan to jump off the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks, said Skamania County Undersheriff Dave Cox.

Hood River sheriff’s Deputy Rick Princehouse and Skamania County sheriff’s Sgt. Jay Johnston were already near the Bridge of the Gods on another call when the report was dispatched to them. Johnston saw the suspect in a green Honda heading toward the Washington side of the Columbia River. The suspect stopped his vehicle and ran to the guardrail and began to climb over it. Johnston grabbed him by the neck and pulled him back to the vehicle, where Princehouse helped subdue the man.

The suspect was transported to the Hood River, where he was placed on a mental health hold.

“Sgt. Johnston and Deputy Princehouse did an outstanding job this morning,” said Skamania County sheriff’s Chief Criminal Deputy Pat Bond. “Their quick actions prevented a man from taking his own life and started the process for him to get access to the resources he needs to assist him in the future.”