By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
EVERETT — An Edmonds man who threatened to jump off a bridge Tuesday, stalling U.S. 2 trestle traffic for hours, told police he was armed with a handgun and wanted to “shoot it out with us,” a Washington State Patrol trooper wrote in court papers.
As it turned out, the man, 37, was unarmed and told police that he’d taken methamphetamine.
He is an ex-con who has served time in prison for attempted robbery. In court papers, he was described as “an immediate threat to law enforcement” who has “threatened suicide by cop multiple times.”
The man was arrested for investigation of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. A judge set bail at $5,000 in Everett District Court on Wednesday.
Trooper Keith Leary said he’s thankful nobody was hurt, particularly after the man said he was armed.
“In those situations, we have got to look at the worst-case scenario and respond to it appropriately,” Leary said. “A lot of times, they figure out we are there to help them.”
The drama began around 1:30 p.m. when someone reported to the state patrol that a man was running on I-5 near U.S. 2. He was described as showing signs of delirium and, at one point, appeared to be taking off his clothes.
He later was seen walking eastbound on U.S. 2. When a trooper began to approach him, the man yelled to stay back.
The trooper said the man began running on the highway.
He “was running in and out of traffic and nearly causing collisions because he was causing cars to slam on their brakes,” the trooper wrote in a probable cause statement explaining why the man was arrested.
Eventually, the man climbed over a trestle railing and threatened to jump. The spot was over the Snohomish River. A police negotiator was able to talk the man into coming back over the railing before 5 p.m.
During the standoff, the man reportedly told police several times that he wanted to kill himself. He said that he was going to die from being shot or jumping off the rail, according to court papers.
He told police he relapsed into using drugs in November and was on methamphetamine on Tuesday.
Court papers show the man recently had been served eviction papers from a Snohomish-area home. He’s had repeated domestic disputes with a former girlfriend. In 1995, he was convicted of attempted first-degree robbery after a holdup in Marysville. A co-defendant shot a man in the hand, according to court papers.
While at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, the man said he was going to bail out of jail and return to the trestle to jump, court papers said.
On Tuesday, the trestle was closed westbound, resulting in a traffic jam for afternoon commuters in the Everett area.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, email@example.com