CPD captain ends suicidal man’s bridge standoff
by Jessica Loeding
Jul 23, 2014 | 4751 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Law enforcement officers, from left, Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force K9 Officer Jeremy Woody, Cartersville Police Department Capt. Mark Camp and CPD Officer Patrick Hooten take Christopher Jason Gay to the ground after Gay threatened to jump from the Church Street bridge in downtown Cartersville on Tuesday afternoon. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Law enforcement officers, from left, Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force K9 Officer Jeremy Woody, Cartersville Police Department Capt. Mark Camp and CPD Officer Patrick Hooten take Christopher Jason Gay to the ground after Gay threatened to jump from the Church Street bridge in downtown Cartersville on Tuesday afternoon. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
slideshow
A domestic issue may have led a local man to spend more than an hour standing on the ledge of the Church Street bridge in downtown Cartersville on Tuesday afternoon before being tackled by a Cartersville Police Department captain.

Christopher Jason Gay, 37, stepped out onto the narrow ledge facing south about 1:30 p.m., threatening to commit suicide by jumping from the bridge.

CPD Assistant Chief Frank McCann said Gay and his girlfriend had gotten into a fight earlier and the Cartersville man may have been prompted by the incident.

Authorities from CPD, Bartow County Sheriff’s Office, Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force, Cartersville Fire Department and Bartow County EMS arrived, blocked off the streets and secured the scene with yellow tape.

Onlookers gathered in the downtown area, many taking photos with cellphones and quizzing law enforcement about Gay’s motives. Periodically, officers would push bystanders back and discourage the use of phones to take photos.

McCann said Gay had asked to have family members come to the scene and speak with them.

CPD Capt. Mark Camp, a trained hostage negotiator, stepped onto the bridge near Gay, establishing communications with the man. For roughly an hour, Camp talked with Gay under the hot afternoon sun, handing Gay bottled water and working his way closer to the man on the ledge.

Gay could be seen several times climbing back onto the bridge before stepping back onto the ledge and back again.

About 2:45 p.m., Camp gestured to the two bottles of water sitting on the railing of the bridge, presumably asking Gay to pass Camp’s bottle of water. When Gay came within arm’s reach, Camp reached to detain the man, who sidestepped the officer. Despite Gay’s attempts to dodge Camp, the officer was able to rush Gay and wrap his arms around the suspect. At that time other officers moved in to assist Camp in taking Gay to the ground and into custody.

Gay was transported to Cartersville Medical Center for evaluation and faces obstruction charges.