A man perched on the side of the Valley Mills Drive flyover bridge was rescued by law enforcement officers Thursday afternoon after he threatened to jump onto Interstate 35.

Law enforcement officers were called to the flyover bridge above I-35 at about 2 p.m., when drivers called police to report a man was seen sitting with his legs hanging over the bridge.

Officers received multiple calls before McLennan County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Waco police arrived and began talking with the man.

Waco fire and American Medical Response crews arrived to offer support. Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said officers spoke with the man and he was pulled back over the railing to safety.

“The man decided jumping was not a good idea and came back over the railing to the safety of the officers and the awaiting ambulance,” Swanton said. “He was taken for a mental health evaluation where he can hopefully get the help he needs.”

The interstate came to a stop for about 30 minutes as officers spoke with the man. Police reopened the highway to traffic by about 2:30 p.m.

If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. It is free and confidential.

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Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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