Man talked down from I-70 bridge

A suicidal man who was in danger of jumping or falling from a pedestrian bridge briefly forced the closure of Interstate 70 in Glenwood Springs earlier this week.

Police Chief Terry Wilson said negotiators with the multijurisdictional All-Hazards Response Team eventually were able to convince the 34-year-old Glenwood Springs man to return to safety.

The incident was further complicated by someone allegedly challenging the man to a fight during the incident.

Wilson said the incident began shortly before 11 p.m. Monday when police got a call of an angry man near the Hotel Colorado taking off his shirt and yelling obscenities at people.

He then headed onto a pedestrian bridge crossing the interstate and Colorado River. As officers approached him from both sides, he screamed profanities at them and climbed over a bridge rail, and officers backed away, Wilson said.

He said officers spent nearly four hours talking to the man, as he climbed around the bridge, even going beneath it. A couple of times he slipped but somehow managed not to fall, Wilson said.

Wilson said officers shut down I-70 at one point when the man was directly overhead out of fear that if he fell he might go through someone’s windshield. Garfield County sheriff’s deputies, Carbondale police and the Colorado State Patrol all assisted in the response, which also included closing part of Grand Avenue Bridge along Colorado Highway 82 to provide an alternative crossing for pedestrians.

The man eventually surrendered peacefully and was charged with misdemeanor counts of obstructing a peace officer and obstructing a highway or other passageway. He also was placed on a mental health hold.

In addition, according to police records, Xavier Jerry Rodriguez, 26, of Glenwood Springs was arrested on suspicion of harassment for allegedly challenging the man with taunts to fight during the incident.


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