Middletown Mayor Seeks Safety Measures After Baby Thrown to Death From Bridge

Officials in Middletown are considering installing netting or other safety measures on the 90-foot-high Arrigoni Bridge, where a 7-month-old boy was thrown to his death last month.

Mayor Daniel Drew is putting together information for the state Department of Transportation on netting, fencing, suicide hotline phones and other safety measures installed at other well-known suicide spots.

The DOT has authority over the 77-year-old Arrigoni Bridge, and Drew said he and other town leaders have met with state officials to discuss their options.

Drew said he's not certain whether nets or a fence would have prevented the death of 7-month-old Aaden Moreno, but he said officials have a responsibility to look into it.

"I'm not in a position to say that anything we are thinking about doing could have or would have stopped what happened here," Drew said. "But if we have an opportunity to prevent someone from taking his or her own life there in the future, we at least have a moral obligation to explore that."

Police said Tony Moreno admitted throwing his son off the bridge before jumping himself during a custody dispute with Aaden's mother. Moreno survived and is charged with murder.

"I got a page in the middle of the night, right when it happened. I drove right down here to the riverfront and I was here for hours in the middle of the night," Drew said. "It was just about the most tragic thing a community could go through. It was horrible."

Police are currently compiling data for the DOT regarding the number of incidents that have occurred at the bridge over the past 10 years. Drew said the next step is to start a dialogue with the residents of Middletown and Portland, which the bridge connects.

It's not clear how much the added measures would cost or when they would be installed. Drew said planning is still in the early stages, and officials have yet to pin down a timeline.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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