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Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Jump! say motorists to suicide jumper tieing up traffic in SF

Cops Want Spider Gun to Snare Bridge Jumpers
Tue Apr 27, 9:03 AM ET Reuters via Yahoo!

SAN FRANCISCO - Attention Spiderman: California needs you.

The state highway patrol, hoping to avoid another epic traffic jam caused by a suicide jumper on a major bridge, wants inventors to design and build a gun that can capture would-be jumpers in a spider-like web.

"At this point we're about ready to put out a request for a proposal," said California Highway Patrol spokesman Tom Marshall. "And we'll just see if there's some technology that might be usable."

The idea for a suicide spider gun was first floated by a local radio talk-show host following a 13-hour standoff between cops and a blade-wielding man threatening to jump off the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Marshall said.

After hours in traffic, some motorists were so furious that some yelled out for the man to jump.

The April 2 incident cost the highway patrol an estimated $100,000 in overtime and other expenses, Marshall said, not to mention the costs of the delays to the region.

The stand-off came to a close only after the man, exhausted, curled up on the platform and a SWAT team stunned him with a bean-bag gun. He now faces criminal charges.

"Any time you tie up a major artery like the Bay Bridge, you want to look at what could we do that would be different," Marshall said.

// posted by Ellen @  23:59   //Permalink// 
Ellen says hey
Mainer, New Yawka, Beijinger, Californian, points between. News, views and ballyhoos that piqued my interest and caused me to sigh, cry, chuckle, groan or throw something.

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