As the end of the year approaches, Patch recaps the biggest stories of 2012—both in terms of pageviews and impact on the Mendota Heights community. The original article posted on Oct. 17, 2012.
Other Story of the Year posts:
• No. 3 Story of the Year: Family Asks for Help Finding Highland Park Man
• No. 4 Story of the Year: MH Police Chief Investigated for Ethics Violations; No Charges Filed
• No. 5 Story of the Year: MH Man Charged with Stabbing Former Friend's Grandfather
• No. 6 Story of the Year: MH Man with Alleged White Supremacist Connections Indicted on Drug Charges
• No. 7 Story of the Year: Tornado Touches Down in Mendota Heights
• No. 8 Story of the Year: BC2 Artisan Bakery Rises Again in Mendota Heights
• No. 9 Story of the Year: Mendota Heights Deer Hunter Finds 8-Foot Marijuana Plants in Valley Park
• No. 10 Story of the Year: Dodge Nature Center Says Goodbye to Bald Eagle
ORIGINAL STORY: The man who police said led them on a pursuit from Eagan to Mendota Heights and then threatened to jump from the Interstate 35E bridge over the Mississippi River surrendered to police shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that the man, who was apparently wanted by Eagan Police, was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul after what the Star Tribune reported as a 5-hour standoff. The man remained unidentified as of Tuesday evening.
Rescue crews were stationed on and below the bridge just north of Lilydale on 35E, while negotiators talked to the man during the standoff. The incident closed one northbound I-35E traffic lane and slowed traffic on the 35E bridge throughout the afternoon and late into the evening.
(UPDATE: 8 P.M.) The identity of a man threatening to jump from the Interstate 35E bridge over the Mississippi River between Mendota Heights and St. Paul remained unknown Tuesday evening.
Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol said just before 8 p.m. that the man was still on the bridge and was threatening to jump, and that authorities did not know who he was.
The incident started at midday with a police pursuit that began in Eagan and headed north, according to a report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The man got out of his car and climbed over the bridge on the east side of the interstate between St. Paul and Mendota Heights at about 1:30 p.m., where he remained, hanging on to the railing with his back to the river.
The incident snarled traffic in both directions for hours—particularly during rush hour—with northbound traffic reduced to one lane. While no southbound lanes were closed, traffic slowed on that side of the highway as well as drivers slowed down to see what was happening.
Police negotiators remained on the bridge with the man. Some motorists reported that as many as 30 law enforcement vehicles were on the scene, with some saying that police had guns pointed at the suspect at one point during the standoff.