Man who threatened to jump off I-35E bridge fled police checking on him

  • Updated: October 17, 2012 - 7:15 PM
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Police negotiators talked to a man, right, who threatened to jump from the Interstate 35E bridge over the Mississippi River on Tuesday.

Photo: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

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A 37-year-old St. Paul man who threatened to jump into the Mississippi River off the Interstate 35E bridge Tuesday night during a nearly six-hour standoff had told his probation officer that he was suicidal, police said Wednesday.

According to a news release by the Eagan Police Department, the man was on probation for first degree criminal sexual conduct and had reported suicidal feelings to his probation officer, who issued a welfare check. Eagan officers located the man parked behind a business near the intersection of Krestwood Lane and Duckwood Drive, but before police could make contact, he drove away.

At about 2:30 p.m. as police started following the man, he began to flee. The man failed to stop at an intersection and also at a red light. The chase eventually reached speeds of 90 miles per hour along 35E. Once the suspect reached the bridge, he suddenly stopped and fled his vehicle. According to police, he scaled the railing and stood on the edge of the bridge threatening to jump.

As police tried to negotiate with the man for hours, traffic came to a crawl along the corridor between St. Paul and Mendota Heights while some lanes were closed. The incident finally ended at about 8:30 p.m. after police convinced the man to be evaluated at Regions Hospital.

The man was being held at the Ramsey County jail on Wednesday. He is expected to be charged through the Dakota County Attorney's Office with fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle.

During the incident, Eagan police officers were assisted by multiple agencies which included the State Patrol, the St. Paul police, Mendota Heights police and fire, Apple Valley police and the sheriff's departments for Ramsey County, Hennepin County and Dakota County.

NICOLE NORFLEET

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