Close to Jumping Off Bridge, Suicidal Man Calls Veteran Tampa Anchor Al Ruechel

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By Andrew Gauthier Comments

Bay News 9 typically doesn’t cover suicides that occur from Tampa Bay’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge but the 24-hour news station was faced with unusual circumstances last Friday when a man threatening to jump off the famous bridge called veteran Bay News 9 anchor Al Ruechel.

Just moments before he was going to jump, Carl Kuttler III decided to call Ruechel, according to Bay News 9.

Ruechel, who has been a fixture on Tampa TV for the past two decades, stayed on the phone with Kuttler while the station called 9-1-1. Police arrived at the scene just as he jumped.

“When these kind of things happen, you think you can control it and do something about it. You’re going to say a word that’s going to stop it,” Ruechel said. “Sometimes it’s doesn’t happen that way. And we’re just sad for the family.”