Rays employee stops suicidal woman from jumping off bridge

TAMPA (WFLA) – MLB umpire John Tumpane is making headlines for stopping a suicidal woman from jumping off a Pittsburgh bridge near PNC park. But, what many don’t know is the man who helped him, also happens to be a Tampa Bay Rays baseball employee.

Michael Weinman is a storyteller for the Rays baseball team. He was on his way to do an interview when he noticed the woman hanging from the wrong side of the bridge.

“They were talking about calling 911, so at one point I thought I would do that but that was the moment John looked up and said can you please grab her ankles,” said Weinman.

Weinman jumped in immediately to help umpire John Tumpane, but it wasn’t easy.

“The main thing that I remember her saying is ‘Just let me go. Just let me go. I don’t need to be here, just let me go.'”

Reporter question:  “And you were thinking?”

“Don’t let go” said Weinamn.

If we were measuring Weinman’s time on the bridge in innings, he said it was a long one.

“As you tell the story, it felt like an eternity.”

Weinman recalled two people hanging on to the woman above where he was but suddenly —

“Her feet did slip from my hands and it was definitely a terrible feeling. I mean she was just hanging and she didn’t want to be there.”

Weinman, Tumpane and bystanders coached the distressed woman not to jump.

“Just being encouraging. People care, there’s people here, you don’t have to feel like you’re feeling.”
First responders safely got the woman off the ledge and Weinman went about his day and went back to work for the Rays.

But not without remembering: “Anyone can do something.”

He left that bridge with a new mindset.

“Making people feel good every day and giving them encouraging words and thoughts.”

If you’re having suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, you can dial 211 any time and someone will be able to help.

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