Deputies' 'remarkable' rescue of teen jumping from overpass caught on bodycam video

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Deputies in Florida saved a 17-year-old girl on Sunday as the teen stood overlooking an overpass and threatened to jump in a heart-pounding rescue all recorded on bodycam.

The teen’s father called the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office at 6 a.m. to report that his daughter was threatening to hurt herself before leaving their Palm Coast home, the sheriff’s office said. The girl, whom authorities did not identify, stated “I can’t do this anymore” and ran down the street.

Deputies received a tip that the girl might be heading to the overpass bridge of the Palm Coast Parkway and I-95 and rushed to the area.

Responding deputies spotted the teen on the bridge, holding onto the outside railing and staring down the overpass, “slowly inching her way closer towards the highway,” the sheriff’s office said.

After being alerted that the teen does not like males, the sheriff’s office quickly brought in a female negotiation team. 

But as Deputy Laura Jenkins began talking to the teen, letting her know she’s arrived to help, the girl let go of the railing. Quick-thinking Jenkins immediately grabbed the girl’s hand through the fencing to prevent her from falling and handcuffed her to the rail.

Deputies held the teen’s hand after securing her to the railing with handcuffs.
(Flagler County Sheriff’s Office )

Jenkins and another law enforcement officer can be seen on bodycam video holding the teen’s hand and calmly talking to her. The teen can be heard crying, “Go away, go away!”

After an hour of negotiations, Deputy Crista Rainey and a firefighter rescued the girl using a fire engine ladder and safely brought her to the ground, the sheriff’s office said.

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly praised the combined efforts of all agencies involved as “outstanding.”

Negotiations went on for an hour before the teen was safely brought to the ground using a fire engine ladder.
(Flagler County Sheriff’s Office )

“The quick response and combined efforts of FCSO deputies, Crisis Negotiations, Communications Center, Fire Rescue, and the deputies holding the juvenile’s hand saved a life today,” Staly said in a written statement. “Their training in de-escalation techniques and being able to talk to someone who’s threatening to take their life is remarkable. 

“I commend all the men and women who stepped up for this child’s life today,” the sheriff continued. “Someone’s daughter was saved on Father’s Day, and I hope she receives the help she needs.”

The girl was placed under a Baker Act and transported to Halifax Medical Center for further evaluation. 

Editor’s note: This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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