Man talked off side of Kenyon Road bridge

The Kenyon Road bridge was closed for more than an hour Tuesday while officers convinced a man sitting on the edge to walk off to safety.

The 28-year-old man was not identified by Fort Dodge Police.

Police Chief Tim Carmody said officers received a call at 3:09 p.m. Tuesday from multiple drivers who said a man was outside the fence about halfway down the westbound lane.

“Passersby were concerned about his well-being,” Carmody said. “As the situation developed, there was concern for his safety and well-being.”

While on the bridge, Carmody said police officers talked to the man.

“Officer Joe Roetman had that dialogue with the man and then transferred to the (Iowa State Patrol) trooper,” Carmody said.

Carmody said Trooper Matt Eimers is a member of the crisis negotiation team, which was involved in training at the Iowa State Patrol Post 7 headquarters when the call came in.

The man spent most of the time sitting on the edge of the bridge, occasionally swinging his legs back and forth.

Police scanner traffic indicated officers tried to get in touch with Canadian National Railroad, which owns the tracks below the bridge, to have them stop any trains. Traffic indicated officers later asked the railroad to contact them when the train was about 15 minutes away from the bridge.

About an hour into the incident, the man stood up on the edge of the bridge. With his hands holding onto the fence, the man carefully walked along the edge and made it off without getting hurt or causing injury to law enforcement.

Carmody said the man was taken to Trinity Regional Medical Center for an evaluation.

No charges will be filed in the case.

Fort Dodge Police Sgt. Dan Charlson said the incident Tuesday afternoon wasn’t the first time officers dealt with the man that day.

“We were called to the Karl King bridge where a man was seen close to the edge,” he said. “After speaking with the man we determined he was not a threat to himself and sent him along his way.”

Charlson confirmed the same man was involved in both incidents.

While he told officers that he was just looking at the view from the Karl King bridge, officers declined to say what the man told them at the Kenyon Road bridge.

“He was very cooperative with officers,” Charlson said about the man when he came off the bridge.

Carmody said the incident showed the teamwork between multiple agencies in the Fort Dodge area.

“We also want to thank the community for their support and patience during this time,” he said.

The Webster County Sheriff’s Department and Fort Dodge Fire Department also responded to the scene.