Two twin girls were rescued after plummeting off a San Diego cliffside in a car being driven by their father, in an apparent murder-suicide attempt.
The near-tragedy occurred on Saturday morning at a Sunset Cliffs in the southern part of the city.
A K9 officer with the San Diego Police Department rescued the toddlers after witnessing the man careen over the cliff top.
Twin girls were rescued by a San Diego police officer after their father drove their car off a cliff
K9 Officer Jonathan Wiese with the SDPD heard a call of a suicidal man in a car
He managed to track the man down just to see him careening over a cliff edge
Almost without thinking, Wiese lowered himself down the 30ft cliff face to help in the rescue
His daughters were sitting in the man’s lap at the time the man decided to plummet over the edge.
Initially a call went out suggesting the father was about to drive off the Coronado Bridge whereupon law enforcement were able to track his phone to the nearby cliff.
K9 Officer Jonathan Wiese with the SDPD saw the trunk land on its roof.
‘Literally, my heart sank. Please tell me the girls were not in the car,’ Wiese said he thought to himself to the
Wiese lowered himself 30 feet down the cliff face in order to rescue the father and his twins
The girls were brought up to the top of the cliff using a backpack and rope
Incredibly, all three survived including the toddler girls who would have been killed had they been sitting in the back seat.
‘I could see him and he had one of the girls in his arms, and I have a two-year-old daughter at home so I imagined, what if that was my wife and kid down there? You’re not going to stand there on the cliff and watch it happen,’ Wiese said to
Wiese tried to think of a way to get down the cliff and recalled he had a 100ft leash with him.
He handed one end of the rope to five other cops who had shown up to assist and jumped over the edge.
‘I said, ‘Hey, hang on. I’m going,’ Wiese said to the Tribune.
Wiese ended up being lowered down to the rocks below and the ocean. He then swam, still wearing his police uniform, towards the dad who now had the children in his arms.
The two twin girls were both found to be still alive along with their dad
Heroic Wiese has two children of his own and was named Officer Of The Year of San Diego P.D. in 2019
The rescue was made all the more difficult as waves kept on coming ashore but Wiese appeared to be the man for the job having served in the Marine Corps.
‘They taught you how to do water safety rescues and I had a little flashback of okay grab him under the armpit and push him so I swam and held them above water and brought them to shore,’ he said.
One of the girls was still breathing but the other was limp.
Fellow officers on the cliff top lowered a backpack down to hoist the little girls back up to an ambulance.
The girls are currently in intensive care but are expected to make a full recovery.
‘That’s the best news you can have,’ Wiese said. ‘All I care about is that those girls are going to live and have a second chance at life.’
The father was eventually airlifted and taken to hospital
Wiese raced into action. By the time he had rescued the trio, more officers arrived on scene
While down below, Wiese had time to speak with the father as the pair waited for a rescue helicopter. He decided not to leave him alone in case made another attempt at ending his life.
The man told him that ‘he was going to die and the girls were coming with him.’
‘That’s probably the most heroic thing I’ve seen in my 32 years,’ said SDPD Police Chief David Nisleit who suggested Wiese’s heroic actions saved the girls’ lives.
Wiese was named Officer of the Year in 2019 by the force.
‘I didn’t do the job to be liked every day, I didn’t do it to become rich, I did it because I want to be out there making a difference and helping people, as cliche as that might sound, but I was just glad I could be there,’ Wiese said to
‘You just do what you have to do, but after everyone was safe, it hits you and you just want to go home and hug your kids that’s for sure.’