Man says he jumped from bridge to cool off

PARKERSBURG – A man jumped from the East Street Bridge Monday night because he was hot, authorities said Tuesday morning.

“That’s what he’s telling officials,” said Capt. Tim Flinn, chief inspector for the Parkersburg Fire Department.

Parkersburg police located and spoke to Ricky Lee Brown Sr., 49, Tuesday morning, Sgt. Greg Collins, police department spokesman, said. Brown is homeless and was located in a wooded area near East and Depot streets, Collins said.

The area is nicknamed Tent City.

Brown was located around 10 a.m. Tuesday when he advised officers he jumped off the bridge because he was hot.

“This appears to be corroborated by another person,” Collins said.

Officers were told by a witness that Brown came by his residence around 7 p.m. Monday saying he had jumped off the bridge, Collins said. Brown’s clothes were wet and he matched the description given to authorities of the jumper, Collins said.

He will not be charged, Collins said.

“No criminal charges apply to this act,” he said.

The jump from the East Street Bridge, which has been renamed the William P.A. Nicely Bridge, is about 50 feet.

Two witnesses training for The Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon in August reported they saw a man jump from the bridge, which started an intensive search of the Little Kanawha River that lasted from 7 p.m. to around 11 p.m. Monday. No body was found.

He apparently swam ashore, Flinn said.

The river search involved crews from Parkersburg, Little Hocking, Vienna and Marietta.