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Indiana Officers Make Daring Rescue on Overpass, Saving a Life in the Nick of Time



Quick Smiles:

  • Officers Ryan Helmecy and Taylor Atkinson’s rapid response: “They completely put their well-being aside to go over that fence and hang on,” remarked LaPorte Police Chief Paul Brettin.
  • The profound importance of the protective fence: “She was begging them to let go. They would not do that.”
  • A nod to their brave act: The two men are now fondly referred to as “Spiderman” for their impressive rescue.

In a heart-pounding sequence of events, two police officers from LaPorte, Indiana, are being hailed as real-life heroes. They came to the rescue just in time, preventing a tragic outcome for a woman at the brink of despair.

Officers Ryan Helmecy and Taylor Atkinson received a call that led them to the I-35 overpass in northwest Indiana. There, a woman was in a perilous position, dangerously close to the edge of a bridge overlooking railroad tracks. The scene was tense, with sidewalks on both sides and a protective chain link fence separating the woman from the fatal drop.

Upon arrival, Helmecy and Atkinson spotted the distressed woman on the other side of the fence. Their immediate response was to plead with her, urging her to reconsider her devastating decision.

But when it became evident that the woman was undeterred, Helmecy wasted no time. He dashed towards the fence, climbed it with urgency, and managed to clutch the woman’s hand just in time. However, in a gut-wrenching moment, she let go.

As the gravity of the situation intensified, with nothing but a chilling 30-foot drop to rocks and tracks beneath her, Atkinson reached her just in the nick of time, grasping her other arm firmly. The officers’ grip was unwavering for several tension-filled minutes until assistance from a nearby firetruck offered a bucket to safely lower the woman to the ground.

LaPorte Police Chief Paul Brettin was profoundly moved by the officers’ valor, stating, “They completely put their well-being aside to go over that fence and hang on.” He added, “She was begging them to let go. They would not do that.”

Interestingly, the fence was specifically placed in that location to act as a barrier for individuals contemplating self-harm. And until this incident, Officer Atkinson revealed there hadn’t been any related calls since its installation.


Recognizing the officers’ valiant efforts and quick thinking, the police department honored them with special commendations. Their heroic rescue even earned them the playful title of “Spiderman” from their peers.