School official takes leave of absence after threatening to jump off Huey P. Long Bridge

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NEW ORLEANS, La. (The New Orleans Advocate)- The president of De La Salle High School is on medical leave after threatening to jump off the Huey P. Long Bridge on Monday, leading to the closing of both spans for nearly three hours, according to authorities and school officials.

Carlton Dufrechou, the general manager of the Causeway Commission, which is in charge of the Huey P. Long Bridge, said an officer patrolling the bridge spotted what appeared to be a broken-down vehicle about 5 p.m.

As the officer got out, the man who was later identified as Michael Giambelluca moved to the front of the car and then started going over the side of the bridge, which is about 135 feet high, he said.

Read the New Orleans Advocate’s full story

A longtime educator, Giambelluca has been president of the coed Catholic high school on St. Chares Avenue since early 2016.

In a statement to news media Tuesday, De La Salle officials said only that he was on medical leave and that they were “saddened by the reported incident.” They sent a similar note to parents of students. 

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