A 16-year-old boy jumped from the overpass of Candelaria onto the Pan American Freeway Tuesday afternoon as police officers tried to take him safely into custody.
Police said late Tuesday he was in the hospital with an “irrecoverable brain injury.” Earlier they had reported that he had died.
The incident comes two days after police were able to successfully resolve a similar situation. On Sunday, officers talked with a man for 13 hours as he clung to a fence above Interstate 40 at Louisiana before convincing him to get treatment early Monday morning.
Officer Simon Drobik, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department, said late morning Tuesday a mother called police saying her teenage son was “acting erratically” and had just left the house in his underwear. Officers found him near Candelaria and the frontage road, where they say he was running in and out of traffic and onto the overpass.
“He made it to the outer side of the fence and officers started talking to him immediately,” Drobik said. “We had CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) officers and ECIT (Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team) officers on scene trying to reason with this young man.”
He said they shut down Pan American Freeway and Candelaria in the area while they talked with the boy. They were trying to get him a blanket to warm him up and were trying to keep him focused on them.
That’s when he jumped.
The boy was taken to the hospital. Police will not be publicly identifying him.
“Officers were working extremely hard,” Drobik said. “It was very rapid while it was happening.”
He said the multi-jurisdictional task force is now investigating what they initially considered an “in-custody death,” in order to learn what happened and what the officers did and saw. No one has been put on leave, although they could decide to take time off if they need to.
“I think that every officer that’s been here that I’ve spoken to today is just thinking about this family and this kid,” Drobik said.