SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 5, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Interstate 80 in Salt Lake City was shut down for a time Wednesday morning after an allegedly suicidal pedestrian climbed onto a median wall.
At approximately 10:28 a.m., a trooper and their field training officer were dispatched to a pedestrian walking on the shoulder against traffic on I-80 eastbound just prior to the ramp for northbound I-15 at mile marker 119, said a news release from UHP.
“When making their initial contact with the pedestrian, the pedestrian threatened them with a rock,” the news release said. “A short time later, during their interaction, the pedestrian threw a rock that hit a trooper but the rock did not cause an injury. The pedestrian began picking up other items, to include what the troopers identified as a metal pipe but was later found to be plastic, and an irrigation box lid.”
The pedestrian ran across the eastbound travel lanes and climbed up on the median wall that is elevated approximately 5 feet. Troopers then shut down both eastbound and westbound traffic on I-80.
“A Crisis Intervention Team trained trooper attempted to talk the individual down off the wall without success,” the news release said. “The pedestrian began swinging the hard plastic irrigation box lid and was swinging it towards the approximately six or seven troopers that were now around him. Troopers were able to distract him and physically remove him off the wall and take him into custody with a minimal amount of force.”
During the exchange, the pedestrian attempted to disarm two troopers and verbalized suicidal threats, the news release said.
“A Taser was drawn and displayed by at least one trooper during the incident, however they did not deploy the Taser on the pedestrian,” the news release added. “The pedestrian was checked by medical personnel before being transported to the jail.”
The State Bureau of Investigation community outreach team has been mobilized to communicate with the man and assist with providing mental health resources.
The man was not identified by officials.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.