Deputy made daring save 175 feet above the river as pregnant woman threatened to jump Monday
PORT ALLEN - Almost 200-feet above the Mississippi River Monday, a well-known West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's deputy convinced then rescued a pregnant woman from jumping to her certain death.
Lt. Ken Albarez is usually the face of the ongoing traffic nightmares - spending time organizing traffic enforcement in West Baton Rouge and working to mitigate what seem like daily issues.
But his latest ordeal was out of the norm when what he thought was a routine traffic stop turned into a life-saving experience.
"All of a sudden I looked up and there was a lady, she hopped over the rail very quickly," said Albarez. "I knew immediately she was intending on taking her life."
Without any time to radio for help, he tried to sit down next to her.
"All she would say is 'if you come any closer, I'm going to jump.'"
As the pair spoke on the side of the bridge - about 175 feet above the river - the woman confided another shocking twist - she wasn't just planning to jump, but she was going to jump with her unborn child; The woman was 7 months pregnant.
"I knew that if she jumped she wasn't just going to kill herself, she was going to kill that baby that was inside of her."
Lt. Albarez said after about 45 minutes, the woman started to become despondent and wasn't communicating.
"I had to make a decision, I knew that if I missed her, it wasn't going to be good, she was going to go over."
He had to think quickly and with help having just arrived, he inched closer toward her and waited for what was likely his only chance.
"She looked away for a split second, so we physically grabbed her and once we grabbed her we were able to put some restraints on her to just hold on because at this point we were kind of exhausted and we're sweaty and we didn't want to slip."
Albarez said he did not act alone, and thanked his partners in an interview with WBRZ a short time later.
"The West Baton Rouge Sheriffs Office, Baton Rouge Police, Port Allen Police, the fire department from West Baton Rouge, the fire department from East Baton Rouge, Acadian Ambulance, EMS. We all worked together as one unit. This was a good day for police. We saved a lady and we saved a baby."
The woman is currently receiving treatment at a hospital. According to Albarez, she had had some sort of dispute with her boyfriend earlier that day.
To contact the suicide hotline for help, call: 1-225-924-3900 or 1-800-273-8255.