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He intervenes in couple's fight—and gets tossed off four-story bridge into icy river for his trouble

Police said three people were arrested and face charges in connection to tossing a man off a Connecticut bridge on Thanksgiving morning. (Image source: WFSB-TV video screenshot)

Police said three people were arrested and face charges in connection to an incident in which a man was tossed off a Connecticut bridge Thanksgiving morning, WFSB-TV reported.

What went down?

  • Shelton police said 25-year-old Gregory Rottjer was arguing with his girlfriend, 22-year-old Jennifer Hannum, as the pair were walking across the Shelton/Derby Bridge, WFSB reported.

Image source: WFSB-TV video screenshot

  • Just after 1 a.m., the victim and his brother checked on Hannum's welfare — and the victim told Rottjer to "chill out," police told the station.
  • Cellphone video shows Rottjer going after the victim who was backing up with his hands in the air, police told WFSB.

Gregory Rottjer in court. (Image source: WFSB-TV video screenshot)

  • "He got involved telling him to leave her alone...stated the man became aggressive toward him and they began to fight," court documents noted, the station said.
  • Rottjer and his friend, Dorso, started a fight with the victim and the victim's brother, police told WFSB.
  • Then Rottjer threw the victim over the bridge, police told the station.
  • The victim fell 45 feet — about four stories down, the station said — and police found him on his back in what WFSB described as "icy water."
  • Police, firefighters and EMS workers rescued the victim who continues to recover from injuries, the station said.
  • Rottjer, Dorso and Hannum fled the scene, police told WFSB, adding that during the trio's meeting the next day Dorso said he wouldn't tell a soul about the incident.

So how did police catch the suspects?

  • Investigators found a cellphone that morning belonging to Hannum, the station said.
  • When police turned on the phone, they told WFSB there was a text message that stated, "Hi I am the owner of this iPhone, please call me to be returned."

Image source: WFSB-TV video screenshot

  • Police then traced the phone to Rottjer, the station said, adding that photos on the phone as well as cellphone clips of the fight and surveillance video matched.

What did Rottjer allegedly tell police?

  • "I did it," Rottjer allegedly said during his interview with police, WFSB reported. "I threw him over the bridge."
  • Rottjer told police he started drinking at 4:30 that afternoon and was drunk by the end of the night, the station said, citing the arrest warrant.
  • Rottjer also said he felt the victim disrespected his girlfriend, which led to the fight, WFSB reported.
  • Hannum lied to detectives about the incident, police told the station, adding that she told authorities the morning of the incident she didn't know anything about someone being thrown off the bridge.

What charges are the suspects facing?

  • Rottjer was charged with criminal attempt at murder, first-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment, WFSB reported, adding that he's being held on a $250,000 bond.
  • Dorso was charged with third-degree assault and released on a promise to appear in court, the station said.

Image source: WFSB-TV video screenshot

  • Hannum was charged with interfering with an officer and released on a $1,000 bond, WFSB reported.
  • Dorso and Hannum are scheduled to appear in court Dec. 22 in Derby, the station added.

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