Riverside Police Department
Press Release


For Immediate Release

Date November 6, 2003
Contact Lieutenant Jay Theuer
Phone (909) 351-6050
Fax (909) 351-6051


Police Officer Receives Minor Injury from Pulling Suicidal Man off Railroad Tracks

Riverside, Ca- A citizen that observed a man sitting on the railroad tracks near Commerce and 3rd Streets flagged down Officer Gavin Lucero. As Officer Lucero approached the man sitting on the tracks, the man grabbed one of the rails and gripped it tightly. Officer Lucero then heard the sound of a train approaching. Officer Lucero asked the man what he was doing on the tracks and the man gripped the tracks more tightly. Officer Lucero asked the man to release his grip on the rail and accompany him to safety. Officer Lucero received no response from the man as he firmly held his grip on the railroad track.

Officer Lucero then noticed a train approaching from the North at a high rate of speed. Officer Lucero shouted for the man to get off the tracks and come with him to a safer area. The subject was next observed to throw his feet over the opposing rail while placing his neck on the closer rail. Officer Lucero grabbed the subject by the wrist and was attempting to pull him off the tracks when he observed an additional train approaching from the opposite direction on an adjacent set of tracks. Officer Lucero was initially unable to pull the man loose from the tracks and called for an emergency back-up officer to assist him.

Officer Lucero then continued to attempt to pull the man free from the tracks and after several attempts, was able to get the subject to release his grip on the rail. The subject remained uncooperative however and Officer Lucero was forced to drag him across one set of tracks in the center area.

The subject pulled away from Officer Lucero and grabbed the other set of tracks, gripping it tightly. At this point the approaching train was only seconds from reaching Officer Lucero and the suicidal subject. Officer Lucero summoned all of his available strength and was able to pull the subject off the rails and to the siding just prior to the train arriving.

The subject refused to identify himself and has been placed on a 72-hour mental evaluation at the County Hospital Facility. Officer Lucero pulled muscles in his right arm during the struggle however the injury is not considered to be serious.