On Saturday morning, a mentally ill man jumped into the East River after scaling the fence at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. He allegedly took the plunge to avoid the two police officers attempting to apprehend him.
According to New York, “the as-of-yet unidentified man, who broke free of two security officers after triggering an alarm near the North Lawn Building, first leapt off a promenade and survived a three-story fall, only to evade officers again by then jumping into the river.”
Authorities have little information regarding the man’s identity, although “police reportedly found a backpack left behind by the man which contained paperwork indicating that he had been recently released from police custody.” NYPD Harbor units and Fire Department vessels searched for hours, but were unable to locate the man and bring him to safety. His fate remains unknown.
The Daily News notes that this man evaded capture just as Jason Bourne does at the end of the 2007 film The Bourne Ultimatum. Of course, the latter is fiction, and as New York reminds us, the East River is a deceptively dangerous body of water, “especially near the UN where turbulent currents would have made swimming extremely hazardous.” That this man appeared to be mentally unwell only intensifies the peril.
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