Wednesday, June 28, 2017

MLB Umpire John Tumpane Saves Suicidal Woman's Life

MLB Umpire John Tumpane quite possibly saved a suicidal woman's life outside of PNC Park on Wednesday, hours before a scheduled plate assignment for the evening's Pirates game.

Umpire John Tumpane. MLB.
As Tumpane finished up his midday run and lunch, his route back to the umpires' hotel fortuitously took him across the Roberto Clemente Bridge and over the Allegheny River, which ordinarily provides the picturesque backdrop well known as one of the league's best stadium views.

Upon approaching the PNC Park side of the bridge, Tumpane noticed a woman climb over a railing and look down toward the river below, the antithesis of a picturesque sight. He jumped into action and moved quickly toward the woman, asking her about the situation.

Claiming that she "just wanted to get a better look at the city from this side [of the railing]," Tumpane recalls hooking his arms around her and saying, "Oh no. You don't want to do that. It's just as good over here. Let's go grab some lunch and talk."

The woman replied, "No. I'm better off on this side. Just let me go."

Tumpane said, "I'm not going to let you go. Let's talk this out. We'll get you back over here."

"No one wants to help me," said the woman: "Just let me go."

Tumpane may have saved a life in Pittsburgh.
As the conversation continued, the woman became more emotional and squirmed in Tumpane's arms, and the more she moved around, the tighter he clasped on.

Tumpane and a passerby eventually grabbed the woman's arms and ankles, pinning her to the rail as a police boat, helicopter, ambulance, fire truck, and police officer all arrived on scene.

Tumpane told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "I was just trying to tell her it was going to be all right. There’s help. We’re going to be better if she can get back on this side. I said, ‘All these people are here. Look at all these people who want to help you. We’re all here for the right reasons. We want to get you better.’"

“I told her, ‘I didn’t forget her, and we’d be here, and she’s better off on this side than the other side.’ ” he recalled. “I just want her to know that.”

Tumpane worked his scheduled plate job Thursday night as the Pirates defeated the Rays.

We will be featuring mental health and the officiating profession in an upcoming article later this year.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or having thoughts of suicide or hopelessness, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also chat online with a trained operator.


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