Rescue caught on camera: Wausau police save life of man who threatened to jump in icy river

WAUSAU — Wausau police are being hailed for their actions to save a man who was suicide on Thursday morning, April 12. The incident was captured on camera — and shared on the Wausau Police Department’s Facebook page.

The Facebook post indicates officers were called to Wausau’s northeast side for a report of a man walking through yards and eventually walking along the banks of the Wisconsin River. Officers learned the man was suicidal and acting erratically.

The officers talked with the man as he walked along the river bank. At one point, the man went into the river up to his midsection and climbed out. He then continued walking north along the river bank threatening to jump into the river again if officers came near.

Officials say the air temperature was under 40 degrees and the water temperature was likely about the same. They knew they needed to get the man warmed up — and so they acted. While one officer tossed the man a personal flotation device, another officer grabbed the man — and both went into the water. Wausau Fire was on standby to help get the two men out of the water — and get medical attention.

Wausau police summed up this episode in this way:

“The best part about being a police officer is every day we have the opportunity to have positive impact in the lives of others in our community. Of course, this isn’t to say that being a police officer is easy. Sometimes people don’t want us involved in their lives. Sometimes officers encounter very difficult circumstances and they find themselves having to problem solve quickly, work together as a team, use patience and find courage to bring a positive resolution to an incident.”