Man dies in plunge from Portsmouth high bridge
May be same man charged in weekend photo incident -- Updated report
By MICHAEL GOOT
Portsmouth Bureau Chief
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PORTSMOUTH ? A Massachusetts man plunged to his death after jumping off the Piscataqua River Bridge just before noon on Monday.
"At about 8 minutes to 12, Portsmouth police received several phone calls from drivers on the high-level bridge, advising us they just witnessed a person jump over the railing," said Police Capt. David Ferland.
The incident happened just on the New Hampshire side of the bridge that connects Portsmouth to Kittery, Maine over Interstate 95, Ferland said. Police from New Hampshire Troop A were dispatched to the scene where they spotted an abandoned vehicle located in the breakdown lane of the bridge. The Coast Guard and New Hampshire Marine Patrol responded to the area, according to a press release from state police.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Tyler Scott said the New Hampshire Marine Patrol had already obtained the body by the time the Coast Guard arrived on scene.
The New Hampshire Marine Patrol recovered the man's body in the river under the bridge about 20 minutes later and transported it to a cove in Eliot, Maine, which has a dock frequently used for boat rescues, Ferland said.
The Maine Medical Examiner's Office has been notified.
State police identified the man as Harrison S. Vieira, 45, of Saugus, Mass.
Police could not say why the man jumped. New Hampshire State Trooper Robert Blonigen is handling the investigation.
Although police have not made the link, a report on the Boston Herald Web site showed that a Harrison Vieira of Saugus, also 45, was arrested on Saturday after visitors to the New England Aquarium in Boston said he was snapping digital pictures under the dress of young girls' at the Aquarium. He was charged with disorderly conduct; disseminating sexually explicit materials depicting children; annoying and accosting a person of the opposite sex; obscene matter distribution; and secret video device surveillance of partial nudity.
State police did not know whether there would be a full autopsy. It would be up the medical examiner.
Also assisting at the scene was the Portsmouth police and fire departments, Kittery police, Newington police and Maine state police.
Ferland said there are few jumpers off the bridge every year.
In 2003, a man from Norton, Mass. jumped to his death off the Piscataqua River Bridge.