A man who threatened to leap from an overpass stretching across Interstate 215 in north Perris Thursday prompted the closure of one side of the freeway during rush-hour traffic, causing a major traffic tie-up until the individual was safely taken into custody.
The would-be jumper, whose identity was not released, 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 shut down all northbound lanes, causing traffic to come to a standstill all the way back into Menifee. 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.
Firefighters cut a hole in the fence, enabling deputies and officers to get close to the man, who was physically removed from the bridge about 5:25 p.m. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation, authorities said.
There was no word on why he was in distress.