Documents released by the Metropolitan Police Department on Friday indicate that the police officer who died last December was responding to a suicide attempt, according to the Georgetown Patch. On December 16, U.S. Park Police officer Michael Boehm died on duty at the site of the jumper incident, but at the time the details of the jumper’s death were not revealed. At the time of the investigation, both lanes of traffic on Key Bridge were closed off during rush hour.
MPD terminated the investigation in February after a D.C. medical examiner determined that the man who jumped was in fact attempting to commit suicide. The document obtained by the Patch states that the man suffered “multiple blunt impact injuries.” The jumper was allegedly a 45-year-old resident of Washington D.C.
Kevin Kornreich of the D.C. Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency told Vox at the time that Boehm went into cardiac arrest at the scene of the incident and died in Georgetown University Hospital.
Sargent Boehm was a Park Police officer for 19 years.
The Patch reports that the information from MPD was obtained after they filed a Freedom of Information Act request.
Update, 11:27 p.m.: The Park Police has identified the deceased officer as Sergeant Michael Boehm. Boehm was responding to the initial report of a possible Key Bridge jumper this evening when he collapsed. He was transported to Georgetown University Hospital, where medical staff tried in vain to resuscitate him. He was declared dead shortly after his arrival at the hospital.
Boehm, a Park Police officer for over 19 years, is survived by his wife Corrina and their son Christopher.
Update, 7:45 p.m.: Kornreich reports that the jumper also died, but that has yet to be confirmed.
Update, 7:14 p.m.: the Park Police officer who responded to the scene and suffered a cardiac arrest has died, according to Kevin Kornreich of the D.C. Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency.
6:55 p.m.: Shortly after 5 p.m. today, police received a call about a man at the base of Virginia D.C. side of the Key Bridge. A US Park Police officer who responded to the scene went into cardiac arrest. The identity of the jumper, who fell 35 feet and reportedly suffered skull fractures, is not yet known. Both have been evacuated to area hospitals.
Key Bridge was closed in both directions for a period of time this evening, snarling rush hour traffic in Georgetown and Rosslyn. Both northbound and southbound lanes were reopened by 6:40 p.m. Traffic is still backed up, particularly on the Virginia side of the bridge.
This is a breaking news post. We will update it as we gather more information. Follow Vox for breaking news updates on Twitter.
After a story ran earlier this week in The Hoya about Georgetown’s conspicuous absence from the Occupy DC protest (which prompted a certain American University student to accuse us all of being 1%-ers), apparently the Occupiers have decided to take the action to us. It has been announced that later today, at about 2:30 p.m., the McPherson Square gang will be marching from their place of outdoor residence to the Key Bridge, in an event entitled “Action: Get on the Bridge!”
According to Occupy DC‘s website, the event, which is being billed as a “Labor-Community-Occupy Day of Action,” is in solidarity with OurDC, a not-for-profit organization aimed at bringing jobs into the District. The website’s description of the event cites the Key Bridge, the structural flaws of which were also the premise for a recent speech by President Obama, as “a vivid example of the many roads, schools and other infrastructure sites in need of repair.”
The D.C. Occupiers won’t be alone in their Key Bridge protests. Occupy NOVA, the Northern Virginia contingent of the Occupy movement which has recently started hanging out in Welburn Square, are also planning on marching to the bridge tomorrow afternoon, meeting their D.C. kindred spirits for the protest.
According to the Washington Post, President Barack Obama is expected to visit the newly-completed Georgetown Waterfront Park tomorrow, as part of his promotion of the American Jobs Act.
The purpose of the visit will be to discuss the Key Bridge, which was recently reported as “structurally deficient” and in need of immediate repair. Under the jobs plan, about $387 million would be available to D.C., some of which would go to repairing the Key Bridge. According to DCist, the District Department of Transportation reports that the Key Bridge would be the first to undergo repairs if this money became available.
A few weeks ago, Georgetown basketball blog Casual Hoya ran a post about a YouTube video of two male Georgetown students jumping off the Key Bridge into the Potomac River. The feat was fantastic enough to earn mentions on a few otherblogs, and it seemed all that would come of the escapade was that people would be awed by Georgetown students’ diving skills, if a little worried about their lack of common sense.
However, since the blog posts went up, the jumpers seem to have had a change of heart regarding their public notoriety. The YouTube was pulled and blogs who had written about it were asked to take down their posts. Casual Hoya removed theirs, but another blog, William World News, left its original post up and published the email its author received.
The email claims that a Georgetown administrator saw the video on Casual Hoya and now the two jumpers are facing expulsion:
Please remove your September 22nd regarding the YouTube video “Descending from Heights” from your blog ASAP!
These students are under threat of expulsion because of this post and the Casual Hoya blog post. I’m sure they appreciate the notoriety, but an administrator who follows Casual Hoya saw this and brought it to the attention of Student Conduct. The YouTube video is no longer accessible, and the Casual Hoya post and other blog posts have also been removed. It would greatly help if the post from your site was removed, as a Google search for the appropriate terms brings up your blog. Please remove this so these students don’t get expelled.
As far as Vox can tell, there’s no clause in Georgetown’s Student Code of Conduct [PDF] banning bridge-jumping. The only violations under “Category C” (expulsion-worthy offenses) are arson, use (or attempted use) of dangerous objects, manufacturing or selling drugs, manufacturing ID cards, physical assault, sexual assault, stalking and theft.
We checked with Georgetown’s Director of Media Relations Andy Pino to see if there is any truth to the expulsion claim, and we’ll let you know when he gets back to us…
What do you get when cross “elite Washington field office of the FBI and a team of agents with exceptional and diverse skills who are called together for only the most critical cases” in a TV show?
Exploding boats! Visible from the Key Bridge!
That’s right—in the coming weeks, CBS Paramount will be filming the pilot for their new show, “Washington Field,” and the first shot of the pilot will involve an exploding sculling boat near Jack’s Boathouse, according to an email from a District Department of Transportation employee:
In the scene, there will be six sculling boats on the Potomac River and one of them blows up. The special effect simulating the explosion will occur on Wednesday March 25th between 9:30am and 12:00p.
NOTE: It will NOT blow the boat into a million little pieces. Instead there will be a 20′ to 30′ high fire ball that will last approximately two seconds. All material will be vaporized and there may be a small plume of smoke. The sound will be a low thud; not a loud bang.
Cool! Georgetown Metropolitan thinks that the show itself sounds totally lame. But who cares! There’s gonna be a “plume”! Explosions!
“That word is misleading,” [Friedman] said, trying to calm any concern. “It will be a self-contained pyrotechnic special effect. ….. It’s actually out on the water. Nothing is being blown up.
There’s no impact or force of any kind. I think there was some indication that a boat was going to be blown up, and that’s not the case.”
Okay? Don’t worry.
“It will last for two seconds, not two minutes. It’s really just going to be a flash of light and a puff of smoke, and it will be vaporized into the air in seconds. Really. I mean, if you blink, you’ll miss it. It’s really a nonevent.”
If you’re a Georgetown student, chances are that at some time you’ve walked by the “265 Kappa Hops” message taped on the sidewalk of the Key Bridge’s D.C. side. Like me, you’d probably never given it much thought.
But, for some reason, when I passed the message on Saturday, an article that ran in the Washington Post a few months ago came to mind. The article, “The Measure of this Man is in the Smoot,” tells the story of some MIT frat brothers who used 5′ 7″ pledge Oliver Smoot as a yardstick to measure Boston’s Harvard Bridge, marking every ten Smoots with a spot of paint. From the Post:
Somewhat miraculously, the markings have been repainted ever since — meaning that while Smoot was pursuing a quiet career in the Washington association bureaucracy, he was also becoming a Boston area landmark and a nerd legend.
“The first time I went to an MIT gathering of undergraduates,” Smoot said in a telephone interview this week, “I introduced myself to this young man, and he said, ‘Oh, I thought you were dead.’ “
Even the government got involved with the Smoots, the Post reports, scoring the bridge’s sidewalk every five feet seven inches when it was renovated a decade and a half ago.
At the time, they [the frat brothers] didn’t understand what they had done. But their Smoots were destined to become part of campus culture, since they contained two key elements of a classic MIT prank: a hint of science and a low level of vandalism.
Jay Keyser, a professor emeritus at MIT and a chronicler of the school’s wacky side, said: “What the Smoot does, it makes fun of measuring. . . . It makes fun of the precision of engineering.”
Could the Kappa Hop be the Smoot of Key Bridge? Hard to say. When I emailed Xavier Aguirre, the co-president of Alpha Kappa Psi, Georgetown’s Business Fraternity, he assured me that AKP had nothing to do with the Kappa Hop. Also, if 265 Kappa Hops does refer to the span of the Key Bridge, each Kappa Hop would be roughly equivalent to 6′ 5″. That seems to me to be quite a distance to hop, especially 265 times. Still, if the Kappa Hop isn’t a unit of measurement, I’m not sure what it would be. Thoughts, anyone?