RED OAK

Two Red Oak Police officers will be honored for swift actions that saved the life of a man who was prepared to jump off of an I-35 bridge Sunday afternoon.

According to Red Oak Police Lt. Marc Schroeder, the Northern Ellis Emergency Dispatch Center received multiple 9-1-1 calls, advising a male subject appeared to have intentions to jump off of the Ovilla Road overpass onto northbound I-35E in Red Oak at approximately 1:17 p.m. Sunday.

It was at about that time that Schroeder stated off-duty reserve officer Greg Dansby had stopped on the bridge — just before the arrival of on-duty units — and began a dialogue with the male subject. He noted Red Oak Police arrived "within two minutes of being dispatched" and observed the male subject "standing on the outside ledge" of the bridge.

“Red Oak Police Sergeant Jason Meeks started the coordination of all responding first responders to shut down all traffic on northbound I-35E as officer [Drew] Whittenberg began a dialogue with the male subject,” Schroeder added.

“Reserve officer Dansby continued working in tandem with officer Whittenberg by continuing his dialogue with the male subject as well,” Schroeder added. “Within minutes, the male subject raised his arms and continued making suicidal statements.”

Dansby, Whittenberg and several concerned citizens eventually removed the man from the bridge without injury. Whittenberg subsequently transported the subject to a mental health facility to assist the man with his mental health needs.

Schroeder noted that, because of their efforts and heroics, Wittenberg will receive a meritorious conduct award and Dansby will be awarded a life-saving award.