Authorities in Ithaca saved the life of a troubled teenager on Friday (January 31), talking him down safely from the edge of a cliff on the north side of the Fall Creek Gorge.
At some point during the day, the Ithaca Police Department was notified of a 16-year-old IHS student who had left campus and was possibly a danger to himself, according to Sr. Deputy Police Chief Vincent Monticello.
IPD investigators began searching the city and put out county-wide broadcast seeking assistance from all eligible police agencies.
Their call for help was immediately met by members of the Cayuga Heights and Cornell Police Departments.
Around 2:15 p.m., Monticello says an alert citizen reported seeing a person matching the boy’s description behind a residence in the 900 block of Stewart Avenue.
Officers who were already located nearby immediately responded and found the boy near the cliff edge on the north side of the Fall Creek Gorge, ultimately talking him down successfully in an exemplary display of training and composure.
The student, whose identity will not be released, has since been reunited with his family and is now being evaluated by mental health professionals.
“On behalf of the Ithaca Police Department, I would like to thank school officials who notified us and the alert citizen who reported the seeing the missing student,” said Senior Dpt. Chief Vincent Monticello. “I am equally proud of the professionalism and compassion the officers displayed in helping this young person in crisis.”
If you or someone you know is struggling, there is help available and also a 24/7 crisis hotline effective in both Cortland and Tompkins Counties at 607-272-1616.