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Buckeye Lake officer saves young man

HEBRON – A Buckeye Lake Police officer saved a man from jumping from the Ohio 79 bridge over I-70.

Monday night, the Licking County Sheriff’s Department dispatched Buckeye Lake Officer Michael Melillo to the bridge over I-70 after a passing motorist called about a man who appeared to be contemplating jumping from the bridge into traffic to his death.

According to Melillo’s police report, he saw Chad Gainer, 22, of Newark sitting on the bridge’s west ledge. Melillo asked Gainer why he was there, but Gainer just sat and shook his head. Melillo asked Gainer to step away from the ledge, but Gainer refused. Melillo first grabbed Gainer’s right arm, but he still refused to move. The officer pulled Gainer back from the bridge and over the railing.

At this time, Hebron Sergeant Richard Carson arrived, who helped Melillo pull Gainer farther from the ledge. Gainer was handcuffed and placed in the back of the Carson’s cruiser. Shortly, Trooper R. L. Franks and Sergeant R.R. Pasqualetti of the Ohio State Highway Patrol arrived and transported Gainer to Licking Memorial Hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

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