Chief Constable Commendation
Sgt. Mark Braithwaite
Is officially commended for demonstrating the highest standard of police conduct in a single incident where there was a high risk of danger.
On September 29, 2022, at 1613 hours West Vancouver Police received reports of a male appearing distressed on the Lions Gate Bridge. Multiple 9-1-1 calls reported that a male was seen midspan and was pacing near the railing.
Sgt. Braithwaite was returning from the Cops for Cancer closing ceremonies in Vancouver and heard the call on his police radio. He responded to the call and was first on scene. After strategically positioning his motorcycle to block oncoming traffic, Sgt. Braithwaite approached the male and attempted to de-escalate the situation. After a brief verbal exchange, the male suddenly ran towards the railing and attempted to jump off the bridge.
Wearing his full motorcycle gear including his helmet, Sgt. Braithwaite engaged in a struggle with the male to prevent him from climbing over the railing. Unknown to him at the time, Sgt. Braithwaite had dislocated his shoulder and broken his arm during the struggle. Ms. Stephanie Anderson was cycling southbound as part of her commute to YVR and observed Sgt. Braithwaite struggling to control the male. Ms. Anderson stopped and assisted Sgt. Braithwaite pull the male to safety. Ms. Anderson pried the male’s hands off the bridge railing while Sgt. Braithwaite, despite his injuries, continued his efforts to gain control of the male.
A second cyclist, Mr. Sawyer Danyluk, had heard a commotion and had witnessed the male attempting to jump off the bridge. Mr. Danyluk rushed to help pin the male to the ground. While the three were gaining control of the male, the male made a comment about grabbing Sgt. Braithwaite’s gun and attempted to reach for Sgt. Braithwaite’s firearm. Mr. Danyluk took control of the male’s loose hand and prevented him from accessing Sgt. Braithwaite’s firearm. Together, Sgt. Braithwaite, Ms. Anderson and Mr. Danyluk restrained the male until additional officers arrived on scene. The male was then transferred to the care of medical care professionals.
For his conduct, quick-thinking actions and determination in preventing a man from ending his life, Sgt. Braithwaite is hereby awarded this Chief Constable’s Commendation.