Probation and parole officer honored for stopping teen from leap off bridge

Senior Probation and Parole Officer Clint Hoiland of Clarkston was awarded the Silver Cross by the Board of Correction


By Ralph Bartholdt
Lewiston Tribune

LEWISTON, Idaho — A department of probation and parole officer was recognized by the Idaho Department of Correction for preventing a teenager from jumping off the Southway Bridge.

Senior Probation and Parole Officer Clint Hoiland of Clarkston was awarded the Silver Cross by the Board of Correction. The award is earned by corrections officers whose actions result in the saving of a life, prevention of serious injury, or for demonstrating exceptional care for another individual.

Hoiland said he was driving home from the gym last February and heading west across the Southway Bridge when traffic in front of him stopped.

"There were three cars in one lane, and four cars stopped in the opposing lane," Hoiland said. "I looked to see what was going on and saw a young man trying to get on top of the guardrail."

The teenager, Hoiland said, was climbing the rail of the bridge directly over the bicycle trail on the Asotin County bank of the Snake River.

Hoiland, 38, stopped his car, got out and ran toward the man yelling for him to get down.

"He was almost on the railing," Hoiland said.

He grabbed the man and held him to the ground as he instructed on-lookers to call authorities.

The teenager, Hoiland said, "was just distraught. He was very distraught. Very suicidal." The 18-year-old told authorities he had been bullied and wanted to kill himself.

Probation and Parole Chief Henry Atencio called Hoiland a great ambassador for the agency, who used his training to act fast and de-escalate a dangerous situation.

Hoiland said he responded as anyone with similar training would have reacted.

"The department trained me well. I'm glad I was there," he said. "It's what any reasonable person would have ended up doing."

Hoiland, who works as the lead parole officer in Moscow, has been with the agency for 13 years.

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