The Agate Pass Bridge was temporarily shut down last week because a 34-year-old Bremerton man on the bridge was threatening to kill himself, according to an incident report released this week by the Bainbridge Island Police Department.
The police report provides new details on the incident at the bridge Tuesday, March 5 that prompted a police response from Bainbridge, Suquamish and Poulsbo police, as well as the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and Bainbridge Island Fire Department.
Emergency dispatchers notified police after getting multiple reports from passersby, including a Kitsap Transit driver, of a man leaning over the side of the Agate Pass Bridge, and then kicking his legs up over a bridge railing, just before 7:30 p.m.
A Bainbridge officer was the first to arrive, and found two women who had pulled onto the shoulder on the south side of the span and were trying to talk to the man, who the officer noted was “flailing his arms about and was very physically and verbally animated.”
Police said the man was yelling mostly nonsensical things, and the women on the bridge said they didn’t know the man.
The man also said he “was going to try to kill himself and that he had been suicidal for a very long time.”
The Bainbridge officer tried to speak to the man, with no luck, and the man kept moving toward the roadway while looking at the west side of the bridge. The officer quickly called for more units and an aid crew, and more officers soon arrived to assist.
After one of the other officers was able to distract the man, a Bainbridge officer grabbed his right arm and started to put on handcuffs. Other officers jumped in to help restrain the man, and he was held down while a medic unit pulled closer.
The officers carried the man to a gurney, and he was then sedated so the handcuffs could be removed and the man could be fitted with soft restraints.
While the man was in the medic unit, one of the security employees from the Clearwater Casino approached and told police the man had been at the casino earlier, and had been seen banging his head on walls inside the establishment.
The casino employee said the man ran away when confronted by security.
The man’s girlfriend, a 28-year-old woman from Seabeck, arrived at the bridge and told officers that her boyfriend had been homeless and had just gotten out of jail a few weeks earlier.
She also told police he once did drugs but was no longer using, and also said her boyfriend was on supervised release from the Department of Corrections.
After an officer told her he had smelled a strong odor that made him believe her boyfriend was under the influence of heroin, and possibly methamphetamine as well, his girlfriend admitted he had shot up heroin earlier.
She added that he had used meth in the past but wasn’t sure that he had used the drug that day.
The girlfriend also said that her boyfriend had been suicidal many times in the past and had episodes like the one on the bridge many times before.
The man was detained on mental health concerns; city officials did not provide details due to health care confidentiality requirements.