Man comes down from freeway sign after 9 hour standoff - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man comes down from freeway sign after 9 hour standoff

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Southbound Interstate 805 in the Clairemont Mesa area was reopened early Wednesday after authorities brought down an apparently suicidal man who had been perched on a freeway overpass sign for several hours.

The man climbed the exit marker sign on the Balboa Avenue overpass around 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Traffic was gridlocked for several miles to the north during Tuesday's evening rush hour as officers detoured southbound traffic single-file off the freeway north of the bridge. The freeway was reopened about 1:45 a.m., shortly after the man was brought down.

Through the night, the man was seen sitting, laying and sometimes standing on the ledge of the sign, estimated to be about four feet wide.

A friend of the man on the ledge told News 8 that the man was in his 60s, semiretired and lived with his wife in North Park. He has no known mental health issues, the friend said.

This is the latest update. The original story is below.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The southbound lanes of Interstate 805 remained closed Tuesday night as police attempted to talk to a man perched on an overpass sign.

The man climbed over the overpass railing and sat on the sign just after 5 p.m., at one point tying himself to it.

The man was seen writing on a large piece of paper with a black marker. Hand-written phrases such as "The FBI is trying to kill me" and "I am not a pedophile" were visible on the sign from Chopper 8.

A friend of the man's is working with police to convince the man to surrender. He told News8 the suspect is named A.J. and has a wife and home in North Park. The friend said he was confused and surprised by A.J.'s bizarre behavior.

Traffic was backed up for miles during rush hour, and cars were still being diverted off the 805 late into the night.



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