This morning, August 14, 2018, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors Chicago Police Lieutenant Antonio Baio and Officers Robert Roth and Agnieszka Broniec. These officers stopped a man who was trying to jump off a bridge onto the Kennedy expressway during rush hour.
On July 16th, Chicago Police Lieutenant Baio was on his way to work when he encountered a disturbance on the Nagle Bridge over the Kennedy expressway on Chicago’s northwest side. Lieutenant Baio saw a visibly upset man walking in between cars, along with a CTA bus at a standstill. Baio exited his car to investigate the matter and approached the man asking him what was going on.
The victim told Lieutenant “this isn’t going to end well, and it may be a suicide by cop.” Baio replied that it’s not going to happen in an attempt to defuse the situation. The man jumped on top of a cement wall and scaled a fence in an attempt to jump onto the Kennedy expressway. Lieutenant Baio grabbed on to the waist of the man to prevent him from climbing higher and over the fence. Simultaneously, two officers from the Jefferson Park police district who had just completed their midnight shift and were en route to court saw the disturbance and ran to aid Lieutenant Baio. Officer Robert Roth jumped onto the fence and climbed above the man, pulling the tightly gripped hands off of the chain-link fence to control him and pull him away from danger. Working in tandem, Lieutenant Baio and Officer Roth were able to pull the man from the fence onto the ground where Officer Broniec used her handcuffs to control the man and stop his efforts to hurt himself.
An ambulance arrived and the man was taken to the hospital for treatment. Upon further investigation, it was learned that the man was distraught over a domestic relationship and was determined to harm himself using the CTA bus or jumping from the bridge.
This event highlights that even when off duty, a Chicago Police Officer will step up and jump into action to handle a situation and in this case save a life.
Today, more than ever, an officer’s job is not an easy one. These Officers are trained to handle difficult situations, and they must quickly make a determination of the event and act on it. If they weren’t there, another family could have lost a loved one. If you ask if they are heroes, they will likely deny they are, and say they are just doing their job, but in this case, they weren’t at work, they were two men and woman who saw a situation and took action without concern for their own well-being. It is our honor to make them our August Officers of the Month, presented by Galls.