Major League Baseball umpire John Trumpane had just gone on a run and was walking back to his hotel near PNC Park when he saw a woman put her foot up on the rail of Roberto Clemente Bridge. "Obviously, that grabs your attention," he said after the incident, and then went on to explain how he kept the woman from jumping.
Trumpane, who became a full-time ump almost exactly one year ago, approached the woman and asked her what was going on. She said she wanted to get a better look at the city, but Trumpane wasn't buying it. It became increasingly clear that she wanted to jump; Trumpane said she kept saying things like "I'm better of on this side" and "Just let me go." Things continued to escalate as the two stood there.
Tumpane mouthed to a passer-by, "Call 911." As they spoke, he said, the woman became more emotional. She cried and tried to slip from his grip. He locked both arms around her back. At times, she dangled both feet off the bridge's edge, putting her full weight in his arms.
"I was thinking, 'God, this has got to be a good ending, not a bad ending,' and held on for dear life," Tumpane said. "She said, 'You don't care about me.' I said, 'I care.' She said, 'I just want to end it right now. I want to be in a better place.' I said, 'You're going to be all right.' "
Eventually a crowd gathered and Trumpane got some help from other people who grabbed the woman's arms, and locked up her ankles against the bottom of the rail while they waited for emergency help. They finally got her back over the rail and into the care of paramedics, who took her to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Trumpane—who said he was shaken by the whole experience, but glad he was in the right place at the right time—then called nine innings behind home plate in a Pirates win over the Rays that night. He'll be in Pittsburgh for one more game tonight, but hopes to reconnect with the woman before he leaves.