Man threatens to jump from I-394 bridge; ultimately talked off ledge by officers

Passersby took photos and video of the man as he hung over I-394 this morning.
Passersby took photos and video of the man as he hung over I-394 this morning.
Submitted to City Pages

This morning, traffic between downtown Minneapolis and the western suburbs was at a standstill as an apparently suicidal man threatened to jump from the Penn Avenue bridge over I-394.

The first reports of the incident trickled in around 6 a.m. Lanes in both directions weren't totally reopened for about three and a half hours.

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Thankfully, the man didn't jump and was eventually taken into custody.

We touched base with Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder seeking more information. He sent us this statement:

This morning just before 6:00, Minneapolis Police responded to a crisis situation on Penn Ave and Interstate 394.

Upon officer's arrival, it was evident that, for public safety reasons, Interstate 394 westbound and the HOV lanes would need to be closed. This is never a decision made lightly. We quickly consulted with the Minnesota State Patrol who concurred and assisted in this task, along with the Metro Transit Police.

Officers on site handled the situation with great professionalism and compassion. They were able to bring this event to a positive conclusion. We are pleased to announce that no one was hurt.

The roadway was opened up as soon as possible. This was also publicized by the MPD_PIO Twitter account along with a phone call placed to each of the major media outlets so they could get the word out.

We thank the public for their patience and understanding in this situation.

We asked Elder whether the man involved was arrested for trespassing or some other offense. He said he didn't immediately know, but would get back to us with more information. We'll update this post when we hear back.

Note -- An earlier version of this post contained video clip of the man. We've removed the footage at the request of Canvas Health Crisis Connection.

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.

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