EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

July 22, 2013

Police talk woman out of jumping from crane

LAWRENCE — Speaking calmly and reassuringly, three police officers persuaded a 30-year-old woman who was threatening to kill herself to climb down from a construction crane yesterday morning.

Police Chief John Romero said the officers “absolutely” saved her life.

The woman was taken by Patriot Ambulance to Lawrence General Hospital, where she was treated for lacerations and given a psychological evaluation, police said.

Detective Carmen Purpora was flagged down at around 10:45 a.m. on Amesbury Street by a motorist who reported a woman was being attacked by a man with a knife at 32 Lawrence St., according to the detective’s report. Purpora called dispatch to request additional officers and headed for the scene.

Romero said police later learned that the woman was not being attacked, but that a man was trying to wrest a knife from her.

Purpora and Officer Angel Lopez were alerted by several people on Common Street behind 32 Lawrence St., including a man who said, “She’s trying to kill herself” and pointed toward an alley. Purpora and Lopez went to the alley and saw a woman standing on top of a crane with a bucket, 30 feet in the air, according to Purpora’s report.

The woman had a slash on her neck and lacerations on her arms and wrist, all of them bleeding, Purpora wrote. She was screaming, “I’m going to kill myself, I’m going to jump and kill myself, I want to die,” according to the detective’s report.

The woman put a scarf around her neck, started choking herself and yelled, “I want to end my life.”

Lopez and Purpora started talking calmly to the woman, urging her to climb down from the crane and accept help, according to the report. Sgt. Maurice Aguiler then joined the effort to convince the woman to get off the crane.

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