On May 27, 2019 at approximately 12:27 hours, Putnam County 911 dispatched for any available Town of Southeast patrol to respond for a male subject who parked his car on the westbound side of Interstate I-84 and who was now standing on the edge of the Veterans Memorial Bridge, holding a piece of paper. The bridge goes over Route 6 in the Town of Southeast. Deputy Sheriff Kevin Osika and Sergeant Thomas Lee of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department responded. Deputy Osika arrived within two minutes, at 12:29 and found the man with his arms raised, standing on the edge of the bridge. The man appeared to be praying and about to jump off the bridge.
Deputy Osika approached the subject cautiously from behind. When Deputy Osika was close enough, he grabbed the man from behind and wrestled him to the ground. Sgt. Lee arrived on the scene just as Deputy Osika got the individual handcuffed. The 36 year old man stated that he wanted to die. A suicide note was found in his possession. The individual was transported to Putnam Hospital Center for a mental health evaluation.
Sgt. Lee reported, “in his opinion Deputy Osika went above and beyond the call of duty, placing his own life at risk of falling off the bridge while wrestling to save the life of this individual.”