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Aurora police commend man who prevented a suicide

A 10-year-old girl in South Carolina died Wednesday, two days after being involved in a fight at her Colleton County elementary school. | Sun-Times file

The chief of Aurora police thanked a citizen for preventing a woman from jumping from a bridge earlier this year.

In an open letter addressed to a Jessie Lazu, Chief Kristen Ziman offered praise and called him a “wonderful example of a citizen stepping up to help his fellow man.”

Police were dispatched the evening of Jan. 18 for a woman who made suicidal statements on social media, the letter states. The woman was distraught over her son who died last year.

When officers found the woman on the ledge of the Illinois Avenue bridge, they found Lazu holding her by her coat, the letter states.

An officer pulled the woman from the ledge and held her to the ground. She was holding a photo of her dead son.

The woman was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.

“Without Lazu’s decision to act, the distraught woman likely would have gone over the railing of the bridge and injured herself, if not outright killed herself,” Sgt. Edgar Gallardo, who witnessed the event, said in the letter.

“Lazu was under no obligation to act, but he chose to become involved in a lifesaving act,” he said.

How to get help

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day at (800) 273-8255 to speak to a counselor if you’re in a crisis.