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Police Reopen One Side Of Highway 163 After Suicide Threat

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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Comments

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | October 14, 2011 at 6:31 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

I know people are angry having to sit in traffic, but San Diego has such corrupt public officials (like Dumanis) that it drives people literally to the brink.

The problem with corruption is particularly troublesome at the county level, from the board of supervisors to DA Dumanis.

It's time for a local revolution, and time for San Diego to clean house. Our metro area has changed, but the backroom out-of touch politicians like Dumanis, Horn, Jacob, Slater-Price, and the rest have not.

We have a crooked DA refusing to uphold the will of California voters, we have county supervisors ranked amongst the worst in the nation for delivering social services, and we have a police force riddled with complaints of rape, groping, other misconduct and corruption.

I'm surprised more people aren't taking drastic measures like this here, the citizens are not being heard in this town.

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Avatar for user 'carrie'

carrie | October 15, 2011 at 6:02 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

I feel bad for all the people tied up in traffic due to this protester yesterday but like the previous commenter said, our public officials are so bad, something like this was bound to happen.

The gentlemen who went on the ledge perhaps was emboldened by the Occupy protests going on downtown at the Civic Center. Or maybe he just got sick of all the B.S. that is going on with Jan Goldsmith sending letters out to close collectives. In my opinion, the 163 ledge stunt was an overt act of a freedom fighter making a sincere statement about the dire situation our city is in when just about every politician is dirty, corrupt, beholden to others, or on the take. Like Bonnie Dumanis.

The lucky few who have jobs still and were held up or late to pick up their kids--I apologize profusely but sometimes YOU JUST HAVE TO TAKE A STAND! This righteous man may now be in a 72 hour psych lockup now but I think his bravado and bravery should be applauded. He is a local HERO to me!

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