Photo: MnDOT

A man exposing himself along a busy Minneapolis freeway gave motorists quite a sideshow Monday morning and as it turned out was quite a handful for law enforcement.

Fisticuffs broke out about 10:50 a.m. on the bottom of the ramp from Washington Avenue to northbound I-35W as a state trooper moved in to arrest the man who had been seen dropping his pants as motorists passed by. The suspect started fighting with the trooper.

As the suspect fought with the trooper, a MnDOT FIRST truck (what many know as the "Highway Helper") rolled up on the scene. The truck driver and the trooper called for additional cars to assist, said Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the State Patrol.

By the time extra help arrived, the trooper and the FIRST driver were able to get the suspect into custody.

Apparently the suspect, who is 34 and from Marion, Ill., didn't want to take no for an answer. He had been spotted by a trooper in the same area about 45 minutes earlier and had been asked to leave. He complied, but then came back, Nielson said.

That is when another call about a man exposing himself came in. The same trooper who had confronted the man earlier responded.

As the trooper approached the suspect, he " started to fight with the trooper," Nielson said.

By the time backup arrived, the trooper and FIRST Unit driver wrestled him to the ground and through the "use of hands that they were able to take him into custody."

The man was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for a mental health evaluation, Nielson said.

Both the suspect and the trooper sustained minor injuries.

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