MLB umpire in town for a game saves woman's life in Pittsburgh

An MLB umpire who was simply in town to work a baseball game this week ended up saving a life.

John Tumpane, an official for the current Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Tampa Bay Rays series, was crossing Pittsburgh's Roberto Clemente Bridge around 3 p.m. on Wednesday when he saw a woman climb over the bridge's railing.

"Obviously, that grabbed my attention," the 34-year-old explained in an interview prior to Wednesday night's game.


The woman reportedly told Tumpane she wanted to get a better view of the city from that side of the bridge, but he could tell something else was going through her mind.

The umpire immediately sprang into action, inviting the woman out to lunch to talk and hooking his arm around hers.

"I'll never forget you," Tumpane told her, after she insisted he wouldn't even remember their interaction. "You can have my promise on that."

As Tumpane silently urged other bystanders to call 911, the woman started to become more emotional, crying and attempting to break from Tumpane's grip, even after he wrapped both of his arms around her back.

Other Good Samaritans ran to assist, grabbing the woman's arms and ankles.

"I was just trying to tell her it was going to be all right," Tumpane said. "There's help."

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MLB umpire John Tumpane through his career
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MLB umpire John Tumpane through his career
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 02: Dusty Baker the manager of the Cincinnati Reds argues a call with umpire John Tumpane during the game against the Cleveland Indians at Great American Ball Park on July 2, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 28: Home plate umpire John Tumpane works the game between the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park on September 28, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 14: All eyes, including home plate umpire John Tumpane and Rays catcher Jose Molina, are on the flight of the third inning two run double by Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli, right. The Boston Red Sox hosted the Tampa Bay Rays in a regular season MLB game at Fenway Park. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 02: Third base umpire John Hirschbeck and second base umpire John Tumpane review a call on the field in the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park April 2, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 20: First base umpire John Tumpane #74 stands on the field during the seventh inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field on June 20, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Pirates 6-3. (Photo by Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 05: MLB umpire John Tumpane #74 signals a foul ball after getting hit by a line drive during the fifth inning between the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays at O.co Coliseum on August 5, 2014 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 21: Manager Lloyd McClendon #21 of the Seattle Mariners argues a called third strike with home plate umpire John Tumpane in the fifth inning of their 5-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 21, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 10: Umpire John Tumpane #74 during the game between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds on May 10, 2015 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 07: Joe Panik #12 of the San Francisco Giants scores a run past Austin Barnes #28 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning in front of umpire John Tumpane #74 at AT&T Park on April 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 12-6. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 07: Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers stands beside home plate with umpire John Tumpane #74, umpire Jeff Kellogg #8, umpire Brian O'Nora #7, and umpire Alan Porter #64 before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on April 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 12-6. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 19: Umpire John Tumpane #74 looks on during the game between the Miami Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 19, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA. The Phillies defeated the Marlins 8-7. (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 7: Home plate umpire John Tumpane #74 signals for baseballs during the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on Thursday, April 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 04: MLB umpires Angel Hernandez, Lance Barksdale, John Tumpane and Ted Barrett huddle before the game between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at the Oakland Coliseum on April 4, 2017 in Oakland, California. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim defeated the Oakland Athletics 7-6. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jul 1, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Umpire John Tumpane (74) calls Los Angeles Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella (right) out at home after being tagged by Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez (left) during the inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
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The woman was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries after the struggle, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Tumpane says he hopes to reconnect with her on Thursday before he leaves the city.

"You never know what somebody's day looks like," Tumpane said. "It's a nice day, everyone's out for a walk, and somebody's not having the same day you're having. I was just glad to help."

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts or actions, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.

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