Officer praised for saving man who threatened to jump from bridge

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Frank Schultz
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

JANESVILLE—A Janesville officer is being praised for his actions in saving a man who threatened to jump into the Rock River on the coldest day of this winter.

It was 8:10 p.m. Jan. 6 when officer Glen Hageman was dispatched to the Centerway Bridge. A man was threatening to jump off.

The high temperature that day in Janesville was minus 12. The low would reach minus 19. Wind chills were around minus 30.

Hageman was first on the scene. He found a man standing on a ledge over the water on the south side of the bridge, where the water is particularly deep as it backs up in front of the nearby dam and power generating station.

Hageman talked to the man, trying to calm him. The man threatened to jump if officers approached.

Fellow officers blocked the bridge, and Hageman could be heard on the radio urgently asking them to turn off their emergency lights so as not to scare the man.

Hageman offered the man hand warmers and warm beverages if he got back on the sidewalk. After 25 minutes of negotiating, the man said he would come down if he could speak with the manager of the Cotton Mills apartments, someone he felt comfortable with.

Hageman assured him that officers were working on that.

The man climbed over the railing and onto the sidewalk, and Hageman sprinted forward, tackling the man.

The man was held on an emergency mental detention.

“Officer Hageman's calm demeanor and communication skills prevented the male subject from suffering serious injury or death. His decisive actions remedied a dangerous situation without harm to the male subject or any other public safety personnel,” according to the news release.

Hageman received a Chief's Commendation for his efforts from Janesville Police Chief Dave Moore. The award is for employees who perform a noteworthy service that is “beyond the normal expectation of duty and based upon a determined and intelligent performance.”

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