St. Paul man charged in rush-hour incident on 35E bridge

  • Updated: October 23, 2012 - 11:00 PM

A St. Paul man who held police at bay for several hours as he hung from the railing of the Interstate 35E bridge over the Mississippi River on Oct. 16 faces a felony charge in connection with the incident.

Oudone Xiong, 37, was charged Tuesday in Dakota County District Court with one count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.

According to authorities and court documents, Xiong, who was on probation for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, was involved in an ongoing domestic dispute with his girlfriend and had reported suicidal feelings to his probation officer. The officer issued a bulletin asking law enforcement to check on his welfare.

The afternoon of Oct. 16, Xiong's cellphone was traced to Krestwood Lane and Duckwood Drive in Eagan.

Eagan police tried to make contact, but Xiong drove away and led officers on a chase at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour along I-35E, according to the charges. Once Xiong reached the bridge, he stopped, got out, scaled the railing and stood on the edge of the bridge, threatening to jump.

Evening rush-hour traffic on the freeway was snarled for hours. A police negotiator eventually talked him down.

PAT PHEIFER

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