Updated 06/28/12 – 1:08 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Police officers rescued a man who nearly fell off of elevated Pink Line tracks on Thursday, after he walked along the tracks for several blocks, then apparently tried to jump from a concrete bridge abutment.
About 5 or 10 minutes before 11 a.m., the man started walking south along the elevated Pink Line tracks at the Polk stop on the West Side just west of Paulina Street, and continued walking all the way south to around 16th Street, where he walked out on a concrete abutment, above a separate set of ground-level railroad bed below.
Shortly before 11 a.m., Chopper 2 HD was flying overhead as the man appeared to try to climb down or jump from the concrete support.
He ended up hanging from a steel plate where the rail bridge was bolted to the support, dangling from the top of the abutment, his feet at least 10 feet above the concrete below.
The man hung from the concrete support for about 90 seconds – sometimes holding on with only one hand – before one of several police officers who was following the man along the tracks grabbed one of his arms and started to pull him up.
The officers had only a small space to stand on while trying to pull him up, and waited for a few minutes while a Fire Department ladder truck showed up at the scene to extend a ladder to them. However, once the ladder was extended, the man instead managed to climb back up onto the Pink Line tracks, where police officers handcuffed him before walking him south to the 18th Street station.
He was then taken to a police car, which transported him to the University of Illinois Medical Center.
Police on the scene said the man had been involved in a domestic dispute before he started walking on the tracks. The man said if he could not see his son, he would kill himself, according to officers at the scene.
Power was shut down to the Pink Line between the Ashland/Lake and Damen stops, while the man was walking on the tracks and police followed him. Shuttle buses were set up while trains were stopped. Power was restored to the Pink Line late Thursday morning.