Jumping off Bremerton’s Bridges is a Crime

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Taking the plunge off of Bremerton’s two spans across Port Washington Narrows is well established as a dangerous, life-threatening endeavor. But should you survive it, it could also result in a trip to the clink.

On Monday, an 18-year-old Bothel man was arrested by police for jumping off the Manette Bridge. A 911 caller said he jumped from the “lower part,” of the bridge closer to Manette, just before 5 p.m.

Police found him in a parked car nearby. He looked like the suspected jumper, and, the ultimate evidence: He was “soaking wet,” police said.

The man said he was not suicidal nor injured, just a “thrill seeker,” who’d done similar jumps in Maui, Hawaii recently. Police didn’t appreciate his thrill seeking, and took him to the Kitsap County jail for a relatively unused Bremerton Municipal Code known as “mischief on bridges.” They set his bail at $5,000.

Mischief on bridges, it turns out, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

“It makes sense from a public safety perspective, that we don’t want thrill seekers jumping off our bridges,” said Bremerton Assistant City Attorney Ken Bagwell, who could recall one other case of such mischief. “It’s not safe.”

Here’s how the Bremerton Municipal Code reads, if you’re curious:

“It is unlawful for any person to intentionally:
(a) Throw, drop or otherwise cause any object or missile to be thrown, dropped or released from any portion of any bridge, including the bridges crossing the Port Washington Narrows, commonly known as the Bremerton-Manette and Warren Avenue Bridges; or
(b) Jump, leap or go upon with the intent of jumping or leaping from any portion of any bridge, including the Port Washington Narrows, commonly known as the Bremerton-Manette and Warren Avenue Bridges.”

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