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Police Talk Man Off Ledge at Hospital

A hospital employee stood at the top of a multi-story parking garage at St. Mary Medical Center Wednesday afternoon causing a large police response.

 

A man in blue St. Mary Medical Center shirt and khaki pants stood on the ledge of hospital's fourth-floor parking garage Wednesday afternoon leading officials to believe he was attempting to jump.

After a nearly two-hour-long standoff with police in Middletown, the older man came down from his breezy perch and was secured by police officers, checked by paramedics and taken from the scene.

Specially-trained officers were able to talk the man down from the ledge, Philly.com reported.

The man was set to retire from his job at the hospital in the near future, several hospital employees and police sources told Patch. Two hospital employees said they believed the man's family had recently suffered health-related issues.

Just minutes before the man stepped away from the ledge, he was spotted holding what appeared to be a cell phone to his ear and holding his other hand to his head.

Kate Snow, a hospital spokesperson, said St. Mary remained opened during the incident and suffered little disruption.

An independently operated childcare center on the hospital grounds was locked down and children were led from the premise and into Core Creek Park, police at the scene confirmed. The center is located near the garage where the man was threatening to jump from.

Concerned parents picked their children up from a staging area in the park that was manned by county park rangers.

Police officers, detectives and trained crisis negotiators from several neighboring departments descended upon the scene shortly before 1 p.m. after the incident was reported.The fire marshal's office, rescue squad and fire police also responded to the hospital to aid officers.

Throughout the ordeal, additional law enforcement personnel in unmarked cars and SUVs streamed in and out of the hospital driveway.

Hospital spokesman Patrick Donohue said the hospital and its staff are keeping the man in their thoughts.

Kelly September 06, 2012 at 03:54 AM
It's Donohue not Donahue... FYI
Nicole September 06, 2012 at 07:21 AM
I don't think it is right for Patch to show a picture of the man. Does it really add to the story to show him? I understand that in the circle of the hospital, people know who he is, but it seems to me that the last thing this poor soul needs is for the general public to have this image.
Tom Sofield September 06, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Nicole - Several images that clearly show the man's face were not published in an effort to give him some privacy as he deals with his issues. However, the gentleman carried out his actions in a very public place and required the assistance of dozens of public employees. His actions and the location of the incident led to this being a story of significance that deserved to be published with the accompanying photographs. - TS
Tom Sofield September 06, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Thank you, Kelly. It was my error and I have corrected the text.
Betsy Hunt September 06, 2012 at 11:18 AM
This is a newspaper. Thats what they do. Take pictures and write stories.
Don Talenti September 06, 2012 at 01:46 PM
I agree with Nicole. Our society seems to have lost empathy, compassion, and a sense of decency. We've become a nation of voyeurs. Shows like COPs, and Trauma: Life in the ER, use helplessness as an excuse to invade privacy for entertainment. We're desensitized to suffering and routinely ignore the boundaries of polite society.
Bettina September 06, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Nicole..I agree w/you "..society...lost empathy..." As a hospital worker, I can assure you most hospitals have no empathy for their employees...I am certain St Mary's was pleased to announce service was not interrupted (which is good), I am equally certain he will be fired without thought or empathy from hospital management.
JoJo Rider September 06, 2012 at 02:46 PM
No empathy necessary for this nutcase. He endangered the lives of everyone in the hospital, as well as every child at the daycare next door.
Viral S. Trivedi September 06, 2012 at 03:08 PM
The image of the man was not clearly shown in the picture. But we know what age groups are target population for job loss, retirement issues, and health issues. My point is that I think its great that Patch showed a picture of this man and what he looked like and really got the gist of the story that sometimes when life doesn't go the way you want it to. And also, people that were walking by the hospital must have seen him too and expect to see some kind of a picture in the news. Don- I totally agree that we have excuses to invade privacy for entertainment. But if we didn't have shows like Life in the ER, Trauma, and COPS, we as a society wouldn't know what happens beyond news and the media. Yes there always be a thin line between personal security and what the people want to hear. Be glad that reporters on Patch and other American media report on issues like these. If you look at international and media outlets in other countries, half the time, they don't even report, violence against children and women. My point is that journalism is good and bad. There will not be a point in time where all media will be good because we as humanity have a thirst for good news and if the story is not detailed then we will go to the next story that is more interesting. Also, do you remember the Cosby Show? I watch that show so many times and our kids need to watch to bring back morals and ethics. Our kids want to be what they see on tv; well then why not bring the show back on?
Viral S. Trivedi September 06, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Why not have shows that bring back what humanity should actually be than violent movies and all? To bring you guys back on track my point is that journalists cannot be the only catalysts of change, we all have to do it for our future and our kids' future too because if we are not on the same page, what's the point in being the leaders of society for tomorrow. Change needs to happen today, step by step.
mstencler September 06, 2012 at 05:33 PM
how is a human being's despair anyone's business? was he threatening anyone? if he was, your "journalist" didn't report about that. this is tabloid journailism at it's best. and to think i was cheering the patch on over the Intelligencer. shame. shame.
the VOICE September 06, 2012 at 10:16 PM
He caused a disruption with his act, cost the taxpayers countless dollars. Why not publish his face or story.
Nicole September 07, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Tom, I recognize that this man had his meltdown in a public place and required the assistance of the public personnel, but I will continue to disagree with you on the publication of his image even from a distance. I continue to see it as nothing more than appealing to a sadistic sense of voyeurism in your readers. In a civil society, we ought to treat our fellow men with dignity, even when we don't feel they "deserve" it. As for the VOICE, I have to wonder why you are looking to extract a pound of flesh from a man who clearly is distraught. He has a plenty of consequences for his actions, as one writer noted he will probably lose his job over this, and plenty of distress in his life.
Viral S. Trivedi September 07, 2012 at 03:12 AM
This is definitely not tabloid journalism. If that man was me, yes I would definitely be pissed off at journalists capturing my image and posting it on TV and online. But when Tom Sofield took the picture of the man, you can barely see his face. Here is the bottom line- I dont deserve people talking about what I did, but yes I did cause a disruption for hospital staff because police had no idea what a vulnerable victim could do. Possibly for safety precautions, children were evacuated. Also, when something like this happens, do you guys expect people surrounding him to not react? Yes I do agree with you that the journalist should have interviewed those that thought this was a disruption even as an anonymous source. Think about it, there have been MANY incidences where journalists have taken pictures and written stories about people on the ledge on top of buildings. This is not the first time! Bottom line- In a few days this story will die down and then something else comes up. There will always be something in the news that the public will dislike.
HONEST MOM September 07, 2012 at 10:51 AM
The comment "No empathy necessary for this nutcase. He endangered the lives of everyone in the hospital, as well as every child at the daycare next door." is very cruel. None of us have any idea why this man put himself up on that ledge. None of us have walked a mile in his shoes. Don't be so judgmental. Whatever stress he was under obviously caused him to lack judgement. We should all be praying for the poor man and his family. In order to contemplate taking ones own life a person has to be severely distraught. He did not endanger anyone's life other than his own in the hospital including the children.
Bettina September 08, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Honest Mom...I APPLAUD you ! :)
Bettina September 08, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Nicole....Bravo !
Bettina September 08, 2012 at 02:24 AM
This is true. And it is legal to photograph anyone in public spaces, and without their permission.
Concerned September 13, 2012 at 08:47 PM
I know this person very well. This man is the furthest from being a nut case, and, in fact, very well respected by me, in his family, and in his workplace. This act was was not to harm anyone. In fact, it wasn't even to harm himself. Obviously. There is so much to this "story" that you don't even know and for sure, was not reported in Mr. Sofield's piece. I ask that you all keep to the mantra: if you do not have anything nice to say, don't say it at all. News is news. But, fact is fact. Thank you for your kind consideration for his family, his friends, and most importantly him.
Concerned September 13, 2012 at 09:00 PM
I neglected to say that there were at the time, and still are, raw emotions and feelings - his and many other people's. Please respect this situation and the other ssituations mentioned previously in this thread. As Honest Mom put it: None of us have walked a mile in his shoes. Or, those of those walking beside him for that matter.

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