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DV Pilot police & fire

After talking with Port Authority captain for half hour, GWB suicide jumper ‘just let go’

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A 30-something Ethiopian man climbed the New Jersey tower of the George Washington Bridge this afternoon, came back down, then spoke with a Port Authority police office from the other side of the railing before he “just let go” and fell to his death in the Hudson River.

A New Jersey State Police boat that happened to be in the area quickly plucked him out and took him to Ross Dock, the authority’s Joseph Pentangelo told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Fort Lee Ambulance brought the man to Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, after the 1:16 p.m. jump.

The man climbed the tower more than a half-hour earlier, then was coaxed back down by PAPD Capt. Ron Shindel, the commanding officer of the department’s bridge unit.

Shindel “had him talking for a good half-hour while the man was perched on the other side of the railing,” Pentangelo said. “They made eye contact during the conversation.”

Then, suddenly, he said, the man “just let go.”

His white Toyota was found unattended on the bridge, Pentangelo said.

It was the 10th reported jump from the bridge in 2015 and ninth confirmed. A witness told police she saw a man jump Sunday afternoon, but no body had since been recovered as of this afternoon, nor were notes or other property left, authorities said ( SEE: Authorities investigate report of GWB jump ).

Last year, 18 people jumped.

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