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High Speed Chase on 35E Ends with Standoff, Suicide Threats: State Patrol

The man remained atop the 35E bridge for more than 5 hours in a standoff with police before surrendering.

(UPDATE: 12 A.M.) 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.

Patch will continue to update this story as information becomes available.

jane moe October 17, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Seems a bit of overkill there. 30 cars and even more police n I heard snipers too on him! Worse case what? He jumps!
Brad Taylor October 17, 2012 at 06:24 PM
The worst part of this story was that about southbound drivers slowing down to see "what's going on." Let the police do their job. It's not entertainment. Crowding the area won't help things. If you want entertainment go home and watch TV.
Anne Helgerson October 17, 2012 at 10:03 PM
I witnessed the beginning of this chase and came across it while driving to my destination and yes there were snipers and at about 3pm (when the suspect actually got to the bridge) there were over 18 cop cars. It was a crazy scene even more so seeing it from the start. You would have thought that the man would have had a bomb or a gun because of the snipers. I mean why the snipers if he was unarmed? The only harm would be to himself if he jumped

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