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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the community of Ogdensburg, New York
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Watertown firefighters rescue “unwilling” man from Black River


A man suffered no apparent injuries at about 6:35 a.m. Monday when he jumped from the Court Street Bridge, eventually ending up in a squatted position on rocks in the middle of the Black River, according to the Watertown Fire Department.

The man, identified by city police as Russell D. Spencer, 44, of 130 Court St., was unwilling to be rescued, a fire department officer said, and was escorted in shallow water to the south shore, behind Maggies’s. He was treated by Guilfoyle Ambulance personnel and was taken to Samaritan Medical Center for treatment for hypothermia.

Jefferson County emergency dispatch received a 911 call at 6:37 a.m. from a person who apparently saw the man, wearing a yellow baseball cap and dark blue jeans, jump from the span. When city firefighters arrived, they initially saw the man floating in the river, about 85 feet off shore. He was subsequently observed moving onto rocks, where he squatted.

A member of the department waded out to Mr. Spencer. A second member waded out to the site, and together, Capt. Richard M. Little and Firefighter Steven K. Russell grasped the jumper by his arms and led him to shore.

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