An investigation has been launched after a man dropped a three-year-old girl from a bridge into a river in an apparent attempted murder suicide. Police were called to Astley Bridge in Bolton yesterday to reports that a 39-year-old man was stood on a bridge threatening to drop a child into the river.
Police negotiators attended the scene in a bid to deter the man and measures were put in place to rescue the child from the river should she fall.
Yet the man refused to speak to officers and dropped the child 30 feet into the water below shortly after 8.30pm.
Luckily, an officer was already in the river and was able to reach the child shortly after she entered the water and she was carried to safety.
The man then fell from the bridge into the water but officers were able to reach him quickly and he was taken out of the water and taken to hospital.
He sustained minor injuries and has now been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
Superintendent Paul Savill, from GMP’s Bolton borough said: ‘Thankfully the little girl will recover from her physical injuries, but the trauma she was put through is heart breaking. My thoughts are with her and he family.
‘We have arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder, he will be questioned by police at the earliest opportunity.
‘We have a specialist team of negotiators who always try their utmost to resolve these situations without injury and get people the support they need.
‘Sadly on this occasion the man failed to engage, however we had a second team waiting in the water to enable us to rescue the child within seconds of her entering the water.
‘We will now ensure that the little girl and her family have all the support going forward, to help her make a full recovery.’