Updated with official information from Hamilton Police.
By: Tyler Eckel
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Officers from the Hamilton Township Police Department along with firefighters from Hamilton Township Fire Division rescued a man who was on the edge of a bridge after fleeing from Police, Monday night.
Police responded to the 100 block of Route 156 around 10:00 pm on a reported disturbance. Upon arrival Officers spoke to the victim who stated they had a restraining order against the suspect who fled prior to their arrival and threatened to jump off a bridge. The victim believed the suspect was hiding in the area waiting for Officers to depart. Officers checked the area but were unable to locate the suspect.
Officers cleared the scene but parked down the street to keep a visual on the residence. Shortly after, Officers A. Zuzzio and J. Avanzato saw the suspect return to the residence. The Officers drove up to the residence and the suspect took off from the Officers on foot. The suspect continued running away from Police after being ordered to stop numerous times. The suspect ran into oncoming traffic on South Broad Street towards the Route 130 overpass. When he reached the overpass he began to climb the fence in an attempt to jump off the overpass. Officers Zuzzio and Avanzato were able to grab the suspect and hold him until additional units responded to assist in removing the suspect from the overpass fence.
Hamilton firefighters also assisted in pulling the suspect to safety. According to radio reports, the initial caller stated the man was trying to jump from the overpass. An additional call then stated the man was dangling from the bridge. Firefighters arrived on scene and immediately established a plan to pull the suspect to safety.
A ladder truck was sent onto Route 130 to position their ladder under the bridge and bring the man to safety. Once positioned, a hole was cut into the fence of the overpass, and the suspect was pulled to safety.
The suspect was identified as Alexander Lanning, 33, of Hamilton. Lanning was charged with Contempt of Court (Violation of Restraining Order) and Resisting by Flight. He also had several outstanding warrants.
Lanning was transported to the crisis center by Robert Wood Johnson EMS for evaluation.
Absolute great job to all involved in the swift rescue of the suspect, especially to the officer who climbed onto the other side of the fence to protect the suspect from falling onto the highway. MidJersey.news is recognizing these officers and firefighters as hero’s.