Suicidal man steals truck, leads chase before jumping into river

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | 5/4/2007

Police in New Jersey are waiting at a suicidal man’s bedside to question him, just days after he survived a 90-foot jump into the Hudson River.

According to a New Jersey State Police spokesman, a Brooklyn, NY, man led police from at least three law enforcement agencies through New Jersey and Westchester before he jumped from the Tappan Zee Bridge into the Hudson River.

The chase reportedly began after the man wouldn’t stop for a routine truck inspection on Interstate 80 in Parsippany, NJ, at 9 p.m. Tuesday. The man drove onto the George Washington Bridge and into the Bronx leading helicopters, New Jersey State Police, the New York Port Authority and New York State Police in pursuit.

A different tractor-trailer driver slowed the stolen truck down by pulling in front and driving slowly, according to published reports.

According to The Journal News, the man was rescued from the water when he yelled to police “just shoot me.”

John Fuller, 39, is under police control after being admitted to the Westchester Medical Center. Authorities are waiting until Fuller gains consciousness to charge him with reckless endangerment, criminal possession of stolen property and unlawful fleeing.

Stephen Jones, a spokesman with New Jersey State Police, told Land Line the truck Fuller was driving had earlier been reported stolen out of Ohio, and it wasn’t clear how Fuller obtained the truck.

Jones said it is rare for someone to lead police on a chase before attempting suicide.

“Jumpers themselves are not all that infrequent,” Jones said.

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