Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Soldier assists in rescue of teen who threatened to jump off bridge

Sgt. Michael MacIntyre, with his children Collin and Sydney on Sunday, stopped to talk down a young woman who was distraught and threatening to jump from the First Street bridge on Saturday. MacIntyre, a soldier with 1RCHA at CFB Shilo, stopped his vehicle and offered assistance to the teen who was eventually pulled to safety by MacIntyre and police.

Enlarge Image

Sgt. Michael MacIntyre, with his children Collin and Sydney on Sunday, stopped to talk down a young woman who was distraught and threatening to jump from the First Street bridge on Saturday. MacIntyre, a soldier with 1RCHA at CFB Shilo, stopped his vehicle and offered assistance to the teen who was eventually pulled to safety by MacIntyre and police. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)

Military training that included a tour in Afghanistan gave a passing motorist the steely resolve to stop and talk a teenage girl out of dropping off the First Street bridge to the train tracks many metres below.

Sgt. Michael MacIntyre, of 1RCHA at CFB Shilo, was returning to his Brandon home Saturday at about 1:20 p.m., after picking up a friend at the city airport.

As he drove over the bridge, he saw something unusual.

A young woman without any gloves or toque was standing on the edge of the bridge in the frigid weather, where wind chill made it seem like it was more than -40 C.

As Brandon Police Service was receiving many calls about the potentially fatal scenario, MacIntyre decided to drive over the bridge, park on Pacific Avenue, then run back to the west side of the bridge, near the southern half over the train tracks.

"I knew immediately I had to pull over and stop. I knew that I could help her and say the right things," the 32-year-old married father of two young children told the Brandon Sun yesterday.

"I was in my element. It seemed clear. I knew what to say and how to make a connection."

As he approached the teenager — it turned out later she was 17 — she was already talking at a distance to an older couple who had also stopped.

"I walked up to her, she was talking to that couple. I knew I had to get as close to her as possible — without freaking her out. I was 10 feet from her and she said: ‘Don’t come any closer, or I’ll jump.’"

The teenager was standing on a narrow ledge on the outside of the guard rail.

MacIntyre has previous experience helping someone close to him who had tried to commit suicide.

"I knew I had to engage her and keep her talking and get her engaged with me," the soldier recalled. "She had no hat, no mitts and her face and hands were so red from the wind chill."

As MacIntyre also had no gloves on, the pair talked about how cold it was.

"It gave me something to relate to (with her) ... Both our hands are freezing."

With police and emergency personnel mustering near the scene, BPS Sgt. Mike Tosh and Const. Adam Potter approached the soldier and the teenage girl.

The officers tried to offer her a toque.

"When police offered the toque, she said: ‘No, no, no, I’m gonna jump,’" MacIntyre said, noting she agreed to let the police pass a toque and gloves to her.

"I put a toque on her head, gloves on her hands and I just held her hand gently," MacIntyre said. "I just told her it may seem like the end of the world, but it’s not.

"I just kept talking to her and kept her focussed on me. She seemed a bit calmer. The police were coming closer and closer, then we all grabbed her."

While she initially resisted the rescue, the teen soon calmed down, MacIntyre said.

The woman was taken by ambulance to hospital for observation.

As a police officer, Tosh said he had to quickly determine what was happening as he slowly approached MacIntyre and the teenager on the bridge and then decide on a course of action.

"Obviously, you don’t know exactly what’s going on — we didn’t know if (MacIntyre) was a friend," Tosh told the Sun yesterday. "They seemed to have a good rapport at the time.

"That was a helpful. She didn’t want anything to do with us, as we came closer at one point she said she would jump and she took her hands off the railing.

"We just slowly kinda crept up on her, once you get close enough you have to decide what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it."

BPS weekend information officer Staff Sgt. Larry Yanick told the Sun the teenage girl is "known to police" and is a resident in a local youth group home.

No charges will be laid in relation to the incident, he said.

However, MacIntyre will be recommended to receive recognition for his help in preventing what could have been a tragic end to a tense situation on Saturday afternoon.

When asked for his thoughts on the incident, and the way MacIntyre was able to help police, veteran BPS officer Yanick said most citizens really do want to help out when they can.

"In some cases, it’s just second nature, citizens are still good hearted," Yanick said. "They still want to help out when they can. We’re all about people helping people. He was trying to talk some sense into the young lady."

» joconnor@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 6, 2014

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article is currently rated an average of 5 out of 5 (2 votes).
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 1 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

BRAVO, Sgt. Michael MacIntyre & BCP officers!

You saved a life!

Could this teenager be made to go to Teen Challenge or does she have to be willing to go?

I just heard several young women speak on Sunday about how they were from abusive, very dysfunctional backgrounds/lifestyles and how they were being encouraged, supported, assisted & helped to establish better lives & lifestyles with and by the Teen Challenge Program.

This program sounds like it might be able to help this young woman.

You are a hero, Sgt. Michael MacIntyre!

BRAVO!

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Military training that included a tour in Afghanistan gave a passing motorist the steely resolve to stop and talk a teenage girl out of dropping off the First Street bridge to the train tracks many metres below.

Sgt. Michael MacIntyre, of 1RCHA at CFB Shilo, was returning to his Brandon home Saturday at about 1:20 p.m., after picking up a friend at the city airport.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

Military training that included a tour in Afghanistan gave a passing motorist the steely resolve to stop and talk a teenage girl out of dropping off the First Street bridge to the train tracks many metres below.

Sgt. Michael MacIntyre, of 1RCHA at CFB Shilo, was returning to his Brandon home Saturday at about 1:20 p.m., after picking up a friend at the city airport.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Election 2014
Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media