• Man in custody after police response shuts down 520 floating bridge

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff , Ranji Sinha

    Updated:

    All lanes of the State Route 520 floating bridge closed to traffic in both directions Friday at about 5 p.m.

    Police said they were responding to a man who stopped in the middle of traffic, reportedly threw a shotgun out of his car and would not exit his vehicle. 

    At 5:45 p.m., video from Chopper 7 showed the man being taken into custody by police. The man had a dog with him.

    Traffic was moving in westbound lanes at about 6 p.m. and eastbound lanes slowly also reopened.

    A "peaceful ending," Trooper Rick Johnson with the Washington State Patrol said.

    Originally, the incident closed down eastbound lanes of the 520 bridge near Montlake. Shortly afterward, officials closed the bridge westbound. 

     

     

    Jeff Mirsepasy was biking across the bridge from Seattle to Bellevue when he got caught by troopers blocking all traffic on the bridge. He was yards from the action when police surrounded the man who was blocking traffic and took video from his phone of the action.

    “I saw the flashing lights but nobody did tell us to stop there were four or five cyclists  …. I saw officers with their guns trained on this truck,” Mirsepasy said. He had plans for a long bike ride Friday -- but he and thousands of other people were stopped in their tracks when the WSP says an armed man created a tense standoff with police on the 520 bridge, “They (police) put on their bulletproof vests and it was kind of a showdown.” 

    Kyle Yarborough with the Washington State Patrol spoke to the media after the incident and said that investigators will try to look at the motives of the man. 

    >> See photos from when the 520 floating bridge was shut down for a police response

     

    Yarborough said the initial indications were that the man was in some level of distress, “He's got some ongoing issues with the government this was his moment to speak to law enforcement and the government.”  

    WSP said a Washington Department of Transportation worker was the first to try to contact to the man -- but he wouldn't talk. Troopers arrived and realized he wasn't going to budge and may be armed. 

    Yarborough said the 52-year-old man from Olympia, talked to negotiators while travelers were stuck on either side of the bridge, “One of our troopers who is a negotiator got close to him, got to talk to him, made a relationship with him, ultimately got him to surrender peacefully.”

    Mirsepasy says the resolution and surrender was the best outcome for a bad situation, “it brought home to me, yeah there are a lot of weapons out here something could get crazy.”

    WSP did not say whether the man would face any charges. He did have a dog with him which was also taken from the scene unharmed. Nobody was hurt during the incident.

     


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