TWIN FALLS, Idaho – Canoeist Dennis Bohrn and his companions were stunned when they saw a woman jump off the Perrine Bridge, her body landing near them in the Snake River. Many in the group were crying by the time they managed to reach the woman and paddle her body to shore.
So Bohrn was shocked when an officer walked up and instead of thanking or comforting the group last Sunday, wrote out a couple of $85 tickets for failing to have life jackets on board either of the two canoes.
"The body was right there," said the 58-year-old Twin Falls resident. "A girl deputy was trying to console everybody. Then a sergeant walked up. He said, 'I see you don't have any life jackets so I am going to give you a citation.' It seemed a little cold."
Twin Falls County Sheriff Wayne Tousley said he stands by the deputy's decision, although he added, "Could it have been done at another time? He had a discretion."
Bohrn said he and his friends are still traumatized from witnessing the death. He plans to contest the citations in court.
"Maybe you get kind of cold in that job," Bohrn said. "I think there is a time and a place. They should use common sense. Maybe his superiors could tell him, 'Next time, wait until they get to the dock and the girls aren't crying."'