CHICAGO (STMW) – A 32-year-old man who plunged to his death from a bridge spanning the North Shore Channel early Friday was seen arguing with another man moments before he fell.
“[We] were walking by the bridge and we saw two guys were arguing, they were screaming,” Osama Abdalgader told reporters at the scene. Later, “I heard someone saying ‘Help, help’ two or three times. I realized that they were on the bridge and something happened.”
Authorities conducting a death investigation Friday morning said they were notified that a man had fallen into the north branch of the river, near Lincoln and Peterson avenues, about 12:25 a.m.
Police confirmed that two witnesses reported hearing someone screaming for help from the water and called authorities.
The Fire Department found the man in the water and took him to Swedish Covenant Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:25 a.m., authorities said.
The man’s death is under investigation, but has not been ruled a homicide, police said. He has not been identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
An autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death is scheduled for Friday.
According to one witness, the man was pushed from the bridge.
“I was … walking over the bridge and I see somebody push the guy in the river,” said Tina Derouin, who said she was walking on the east side of the bridge at the time. The “only thing I heard was ‘He’s pushing me, he’s pushing me in the river.’”
Then Derouin, who was panhandling nearby, said she watched one man fall into the river while the man who pushed him ran away.
Police and other witnesses could not confirm Derouin’s account, though several reported hearing the two arguing loudly moments before the man landed in the water.
“I was just chilling around here and I saw two guys, they were arguing — like screaming,” said a witnesses who said his first and last name were Fathi. “Then we heard the helicopter and saw all the police lights.”
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)