Man arrested after toddler dropped into river from bridge

Updated: 

A 39 year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a three year-old girl was dropped 30ft (9m) from a bridge into a river.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) believe the incident in Astley Bridge, Bolton, where officers were forced to pull the toddler and the man to safety, may have been an attempted murder-suicide.

Officers arrived in Crompton Way at about 8.30pm on Friday after reports that a man was on the bridge and making threats about the child.

He refused to speak to specially-trained police negotiators and dropped the girl into the water.

An officer who was already in the river quickly reached the toddler, and she was taken to hospital where she was found to have a broken wrist.

The man then plunged from the bridge into the water, suffering minor injuries, GMP said.

Officers reached him quickly and he was also taken to hospital.

(PA)
(PA)

Superintendent Paul Savill, of GMP's Bolton borough, said: "Thankfully the little girl will recover from her physical injuries, but the trauma she was put through is heart-breaking. My thoughts are with her and her family.

"We have arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder. He will be questioned by police at the earliest opportunity.

"We have a specialist team of negotiators who always try their utmost to resolve these situations without injury and get people the support they need. Sadly, on this occasion, the man failed to engage; however, we had a second team waiting in the water to enable us to rescue the child within seconds of her entering the water.

"We will now ensure that the little girl and her family have all the support going forward, to help her make a full recovery."

The matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.