Olympia Police Officer Kory Pearce snatched a suicidal woman Friday morning after she climbed a fence on the Eastside Bridge and was about to fall onto the northbound lanes of Interstate 5.
"She was letting go," Pearce said when asked why he made the decision to grab her.
Olympia Police Sgt. Dan Duncan said all of the group of about six Olympia police officers who gathered at the bridge Friday morning did an excellent job of approaching the woman cautiously and trying to talk her down.
"She was awful close," Duncan said of the incident.
Police were dispatched about 9:20 a.m. on the report of the suicidal woman, Duncan said. When police arrived, they notified the Washington State Patrol that the woman was in danger of jumping onto oncoming traffic headed north on I-5. WSP promptly closed I-5 north through Olympia.
Duncan said the woman said nothing to officers as she stood on the bridge after climbing the safety fence. In such circumstances, officers approach a suicidal subject very carefully, Duncan said.
"We just take our time," he said.
Officer Pearce established a rapport with the woman and began to try and talk her down.
Pearce snatched the woman shortly after 10 a.m., pulling her onto the pavement, and the other officers on scene took her into custody. Onlookers who had gathered on Eastside Street cheered as she was pulled to safety.
Olympia police spokeswoman Laura Wohl said the woman will likely be taken to an area hospital for evaluation.
I-5 north through Olympia was immediately opened to traffic after the woman was rescued. Eastside Street - also reopened to traffic after being closed during the incident.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445; firstname.lastname@example.org