Hangman’ risks life on bridge fleeing from cops

PUBLISHED: 15:44 29 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:35 25 August 2010

DRIVERS looked on in horror as a man dangled from a bridge over a busy dual carriageway in a desperate bid to escape the police.

DRIVERS looked on in horror as a man dangled from a bridge over a busy dual carriageway in a desperate bid to escape the police.

Police officers held onto the 24-year-old Romanian man as he hung over the A2 for 20 minutes at Eltham railway station, Well Hall Road, from 5.30pm last Sunday.

Witnesses said he suffered a heart attack as he clung to the bridge and was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich where he remains in a critical condition.

A taxi driver for Mayday Cars, who did not want to be named, said: "I saw him kicking his legs all the time he was being held. Loads of police were around him. I don't know if he was trying to jump down or go across.

"I saw the whole thing. The police did a great job, they saved his life."

Earlier the man had fled after police approached him at Eltham station after complaints that he was acting suspiciously at a cashpoint.

He ran through the train station car park, sliding over a car before jumping over a fence and then onto the bridge before he could not go any further.

After hanging from the bridge for 20 minutes while emergency services waited for a cherry picker crane to rescue the man, he stopped breathing.

After lifting him onto the crane, police performed life saving treatment.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Detective Chief Inspector Alex Gibbs, Director of the Professional Standards at the Metropolitan Police who are investigating the incident, said: "We should not shy away from the fact that he was suspected to be involved in criminal activity.

"Five credit cards were found at the scene and a quantity on the carriageway.

"The officers did extremely well. He would have dropped onto the Kent bound A2 and would have caused multiple injuries. We were concerned for his own welfare to stop him falling onto the motorway."

Greenwich Borough Commander Christopher Jarratt said: "I believe that their actions saved the person concerned from falling some considerable distance to the motorway.

"If he had fallen, there is every chance he would have been killed or suffered serious injury. My officers will be given the full support of the command."

Trains were diverted from Eltham station until the following morning and the A2 was closed for three hours following the incident.

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