A man threatening to leap from an overpass stretching across Interstate 215 in north Perris Thursday prompted the closure of one side of the freeway in rush-hour traffic as crisis team negotiators attempted to talk the suicidal man out of his plan.
The jumper was reported about 3:20 p.m. standing on the edge of the Harley Knox Boulevard bridge looking down on northbound I-215.
California Highway Patrol officers and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies converged on the location and pleaded with the individual to come back behind the security fence that runs the length of the four-lane overcrossing.
When the man refused to comply, the CHP began shutting down all northbound lanes, causing traffic to come to a standstill all the way back into Moreno Valley.
A SigAlert was issued at 3:30 p.m. due to the significant backup.
Crisis negotiators spoke with the man, while law enforcement personnel directed big rig drivers to idle their rigs underneath the overpass, providing little freefall space for a suicide attempt, according to reports from the scene.
Southbound lanes were expected to be closed, too, shortly after 4 p.m., as negotiations with the individual continued.
There was no word on why he was in distress.