Police dispatchers in South Haven are getting calls about groups of kids jumping off a bridge into dangerous waters. It's criminally hot, but cooling off this way is a misdemeanor.

There are apocryphal stories of someone getting paralyzed or even dying by jumping from the 71 1/2 St. bridge into the south branch of the Black River. They could be true. Water levels can vary day-to-day at this point of the waterway, and you never know what kind of debris may be floating below the surface. Despite the dangers- or pehaps because of them, kids continue to make death-defying jumps into the muddy waters of the Black River off this and other bridges.

It is a rite of passage that is not only perilous, but also prohibited. South Haven PD is reminding teenagers not to jump off the 71 1/2 Street bridge. A July 29 Facebook post declares that since the Reagan era it has been a misdemeanor to jump off a bridge in Michigan.  Criminaldefenselawyer.com spells out, "Michigan has three classes of misdemeanors: misdemeanors punishable by up to 93 days in jail, misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail, and high court misdemeanors which are punishable by up to two years in prison. High court misdemeanors are similar to felonies."

Do you think it depends on the height of the bridge? Take a look at the video below, but do not try this at home.


We are starting to receive the calls for groups jumping off the 71 1/2 St bridge.

Below is the law that prohibits it....

Posted by South Haven Police Department on Monday, June 29, 2020

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