Police, Valor Awards
Corporal James J. Flynn
Bronze Medal of Valor
On April 8, 2009, Corporal James Flynn, assigned to the National Harbor Unit, responded to a call for a man threatening to jump from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Upon arrival, he observed two Maryland State Troopers attempting to establish a dialogue with the man. The man was close to the draw span of the bridge, where the maximum height is over 100 feet. A fall from this height would mean certain death for the man or officers. The man had positioned himself outside the bridge’s restraining fence on a very small concrete ledge.
Corporal Flynn, along with the Troopers, determined the man on the bridge was in mental distress and was prepared to jump from the bridge. The man made it clear that he was experiencing domestic strife and was despondent over the situation. Each time one of the officers edged closer to him, he would take a position that ensured he would fall if anyone attempted to grab him. After several tense minutes of trying to convince the subject to climb back over the rail, he swung himself down and was hanging from under the bridge.
Corporal Flynn, with the assistance of several Troopers, reacted without hesitation. Corporal Flynn and MSP Troopers jumped over the concrete barrier and grabbed the man’s wrist and arm. Corporal Flynn and the Troopers fought desperately to save the man’s life as they clung to anything they could grab. The officers attempted to wrap a belt around the subject to pull him up, but it failed. Despite that effort, the officers continued their struggle until they were able to safely pull the man up and back onto the deck of the bridge, saving his life. As a result a Corporal Flynn’s heroic actions, a life threatening situation was brought to a successful conclusion.