Police Reopen One Side Of Highway 163 After Suicide Threat
Friday, October 14, 2011
An apparently suicidal man climbed onto the edge of a bridge over state Route 163 in Hillcrest and threatened to jump Friday, forcing a full closure of a stretch of the freeway and tangling traffic for hours.
The standoff on the University Avenue overpass just north of Balboa Park began shortly before 2:30 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.
Police sent negotiators to try to talk the man -- who was wearing all black, including boots and a hat -- off the overpass. The CHP and Caltrans, meanwhile, shut down Sr-163 between Interstate 8 and I-5, first the southbound lanes and the northbound ones.
Shortly before 7 p.m., authorities reopened all lanes of southbound SR-163. Northbound SR-163 lanes remained closed.
The man, who identified himself as a medical marijuana activist, was talking with 10News over the phone and police negotiators at the scene from when the incident was reported until roughly 3:45 p.m., when negotiators told 10News to disconnect the line and let them be the only ones to speak with him.
The man said he was upset with San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, particularly about her stance on medical marijuana. He told 10News that he had a list of demands for her.
The man told 10News he was homeless and uses medical marijuana to treat scoliosis. He also said he worked at a medical marijuana collective.
As of 7 p.m., the man continues to stand on the overpass above the freeway. He made his way onto the street side of the overpass around 5:30 p.m.
Traffic backups remain on I-8, I-5 and surrounding routes, according to authorities.
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