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Wilmington man charged with jumping off Wrightsville Beach bridge


WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- The search for a man who jumped off a Wrightsville Beach bridge early this morning ended with a man in jail. Joseph Compton, 28, of Wilmington, is charged with jumping from a state bridge, resist, delay and obstruction.

Police say about 4 a.m. an officer saw Compton jump off the Banks Channel bridge. When he did not see Compton in the water, he called in fire and EMS. A friend said he saw Compton surface and disappear.

Eventually the Coast Guard and SABLE helicopter joined the search, but called it off after a couple of hours. As crews left an officer saw a man fitting the jumper's description walking across the bridge. It was Compton.

He is out of jail under a $300 unsecured bond.

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First of all i don't think many boaters are out on the water at 3am. Secondly how many of you did something back in college that you wouldn't do today. Heck if you go out to Masonboro on any given Saturday, in the summer, you will find much worse illegal activity than anyone jumping off a bridge.

Some of you need to get off your high horse and come back to earth. Yes valuable resources were used and the kid may need to remimburse the the town; however, I'm pretty sure it was pretty similar to some of their training excercises that are carried out (or should be carried out) on a regular basis.

High horse?

Who is on a high horse? How can you be so dismissive of the community wanting a little order?

First, you cannot justify bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior. You're trying to dismiss it by asking people to think back to bad decisions they made when in college, but this guy is 28, not 18-22. Even still, very few people can say that they've conducted themselves in such a way that it required for the Coast Guard and a rescue helicopter to waste hours of their time and resources... but if by chance they did, I would say that the adults would have expressed extreme outrage.

If we followed your suggestion, the mentality leads society to dismissing behavior that is more and more outrageous as time goes on.

Second, the law is the law and no one is above it. If jumping off a bridge is against the law and you decide to jump off a bridge, grow up and be prepared to deal with the consequences if you're caught. If you disagree with a law, work to have it changed, until then, stay within the confines of the law.

Third, you're focusing on the initial reason why it raised attention and ignoring the rest of the event... I mean, we are talking about multiple poor decisions that lead to the end result of being arrested... 1) he jumped off a bridge; 2) he hid from the police that had seen him jump; 3) he continued to hide from the rescue efforts for hours; and 4) he tried to evade the police when they saw him crossing the bridge. At no point was this guy willing to step forward to let them know he was ok and face the music. At each decision point, he went with the decision that expressed a lack of regard to anyone other than himself, period.

I'd imagine that the cop had a genuine concern to see that this guy was ok; but as time passed, his concern turned to anger as this guy is on the sidelines too scared to let them know that he's ok. He's man enough to face the fear of jumping off a bridge, but too scared to step forward? Had he came forward before the Coast Guard got involved, I bet he wouldn't have ended up in jail.

As if I haven't made my point, I'll continue... I doubt that this man actually paid cash for the actual cost of the deployment of Search and Rescue, but if he did, does that mean that he should face no other punishment?

The problem really is that people need to conduct themselves in a way that serves others and serves the community, if everyone stopped caring about society and the community and only served themselves, things wouldn't be very good. If someone smashes out my car window but when they're caught, they are willing to pay for a replacement, I'd argue that the cost for replacement does not counterbalance the action.

The cop, the Coast Guard, the rescue helicopter, and the community demonstrated concern for this guy's LIFE, and he was content with taking all of it for absolutely no reason. America is being overrun with "takers", while the resources of those who are willing to give are stretched so thin that the takers are demanding the givers to give more.

Let's be honest, it's not like this guy faced any extreme punishment or like they made an example of him, or that anyone is so high on their horse that they have lifted from the earth... this guy was issued a $300 unsecured bail. This means that after he was caught, he walked away from everything with nothing more than a promise to appear in court... mmm.

So, some clown jumps off a

So, some clown jumps off a bridge. If stupidity was a crime, there would be a lot more inmates. I really don't see what the crime is. If it is because rescue personnel had to risk their lives to look for the dummy, that is what they get paid to do and know what the dangers are when they choose this type of work.

Dear Albert

Please do a Google search on "Jump off bridge hit boat." The first story I found was from June, where a teen hit a boat, paralyzing himself and causing severe injury to an occupant in the boat.

You will also find articles about people jumping off bridges and then being run down by boats.

It's illegal for a reason, Einstein.


Honestly, if you were twice as smart as you are now, you'd be absolutely stupid. I think you're trying to tie 1st place with the guy who jumped off the bridge.

(1) It's against the law to jump off the bridge. Period.
(2) It ties up traffic trying to get over the bridge.
(3) It ties up rescuers who could be out saving someone else in a REAL life saving incident.
(4) My taxes pay for STUPID "rescue" incidents like this that didn't have to happen. It causes my taxes to increase for no good reason.
(5) There have been several people who died lately because of jumping or diving off bridges. The same thing could happen here.
(6) This idiot takes a stupid, needless risk of breaking his neck and perhaps being paralyzed for the rest of his life. He also risks landing on top of someone else who may be passing UNDER the bridge.

Are you always this stupid, or are you making a special effort today?

Such hostility

Such hostility GuestLee......did you have an unhappy childhood? I just feel that if somebody wants to act stupid, like jumping off a bridge, he/she should be free to do so. Too much government meddling in our lives already.


Nope, you're barking up the wrong tree. I had a great childhood.

I do agree with you that everyone has a right to be stupid; some people just abuse the privilege.

YOU don't see what the crime was?

It's illegal because other, innocent people pass UNDER that bridge in boats, idiot! Anyone drunk or stupid enough to jump off the bridge is drunk or stupid enough to fail to notice the person in the kayak passing below.

so , lets do nothing to the

so , lets do nothing to the "dummy" and encourage others to jump off the bridge. .. the rescue people can then spend less time rescuing others that need their help that did not act foolishly..

It is illegal to jump off a

It is illegal to jump off a bridge, ESPECIALLY in Wrightsville Beach, where the cops will pull you over in a new mustang for looking "suspicious." That in itself is why he got the $300 fine.

I think the $300 was bond.

I think the $300 was bond. He hasn't been fined yet. I am sure by the time they finish trumping up charges, his fines will amount to much more than his bond.


I think he should have to pay for all of the extra effort that was brought in to save his sorry butt. Helicopter, boats, you name it. He should have to pay manpower and equipment restitution to every single agency that was involved.And then fine him the Court costs.

He didn't call them. He

He didn't call them. He jumped off the bridge, swam ashore and walked away totally uninjured. Mass over-reaction on the cop's part.

Yes He Did.........

"call them" when he jumped from the bridge. At that point he "called" because he just broke the law. No matter how minor you think it is, he broke the law and summoned police. And, had he actually been in need of help and the cop's did nothing, you'd be on here blasting them for that too.