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News Alert
Person Struck by Amtrak Train

Man Gives Himself Up After Threatening to Jump From 73 Overpass

The San Juan Capistrano resident is taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation after the 12-hour saga. Metrolink service may still be disrupted.

UPDATE: A San Juan Capistrano man who had been threatening to jump from an overpass on the 73 toll road in Laguna Niguel gave himself up to authorities about 4 a.m. today and was detained, the Orange County Sheriff's Department reported.

The 45-year-old man was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation, authorities said.

According to sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino, the man is married and the father of three young children.

Related: Metrolink riders in San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano will be bused to Laguna Niguel.

The incident started around 4 p.m Wednesday and disrupted Metrolink service while closing the 73 toll road near Camino Capistrano, said Lt. Gary Strachan of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

The Sheriff's Department was breaking down the command center this morning, and the toll road should be opened by sunrise, Walsh said.

Metrolink's website says delays were still to be expected this morning.

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UPDATE: SEPT. 14, 11:58 P.M.: Metrolink tweeted that trains are still unable to operate between San Juan Capistrano and Laguna Niguel due to police activity in the area. "Expect delays and possible bus bridge in the a.m."

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UPDATE: SEPT. 14, 10:42 P.M.: OCSD authorities report they are still at the scene negotiating with the man who is threatening to jump from the 73 tollway overpass in Laguna Niguel.

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A 45-year-old man threatening to jump from the 73 tollway overpass at Camino Capistrano in Laguna Niguel was sitting Wednesday night at the edge of a support beam rocking back and forth on his knees with a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hands.

The man was atop the beam, which is 20 feet high and 8 feet wide, and there were two negotiators about 25 feet from him, trying to talk him down.

The saga began about 4 p.m. when the Orange County Sheriff's Department received a call that a man was about to jump from the overpass, authorities said.

"We have a dialogue with him," said Sheriff's Department Lt. Steve Doan at about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday. "We are able to talk down 98 percent of these people."

A crowd of onlookers had gathered outside a nearby gas station and fast-food outlets. Said one, Dennis Clancy, who was visiting from Ireland: "I feel sorry for the bloke."

Metrolink trains were halted in both directions and traffic was congested in and around the area. The on-ramp to the 73 tollway at the 5 freeway was closed, causing delays to the south in San Juan Capistrano.

California Highway Patrol officers and a SWAT team also were there.

Residents alerted Laguna Niguel Patch to the crisis situation Wednesday afternoon. Casey Stark wrote: "One man sitting on edge of support pylon. He is dark-haired with black and white T-shirt. He keeps yelling at police, who are trying to talk him off the edge."

Resident Corey Henson wrote: "Police activity at 73 overpass and train tracks have trains halted at LN station for unknown duration."

—City News Service contributed to this report.

Lelea September 15, 2011 at 04:01 PM
Why didn't Metrolink bus the inland empire people? Oh that's right we don't count!!! Sorry about the guy but Metrolink new and didn' t care about there passengers from the IE. What would they do if we all stopped riding? We were not offered busing or anything like always we have to fend for ourselves...
GottaSing September 15, 2011 at 05:48 PM
In NY, where they have real mass transit, you would have immediately had a bus and been taken to the next available station or to your home station. I called those rides "Magical Mystery Tours, as we wound through towns and roads to get to each destination. Arrived home late, but I did get home. Only happened twice in eight years. We never spent any time sitting on a train waiting, but for the time needed for busses to arrive. Too bad LA/SoCal developed later when Standard Oil could kill mass transit development to amass millions and ruin the environment with pollution from so many vehicles on thousands of miles of roads. Now we still face train lines being eliminated or train schedules that are not conducive to people's actual schedules creating a self perpetuating conundrum on cost vs. profitability that serves no one. Stopping trains...it would have cost more money and liabilities if the trains were running and he jumped onto or under one. I would stop traffic too, so some looky-loo doesn't drive into those trying to help. To those who yelled Jump, shame on you. You're just heartless junkies for sensationalism (and perhaps other substances as well). Go home, you might be contagious. I am glad they got him into a hospital instead of a body bag.
Tammy September 15, 2011 at 05:53 PM
I was dropping off my daughter to her soccer practice, and saw this saga unfold. As I stood there shaking, and praying for this man, I was MORTIFIED to see all the people on the sidelines, drinking there milkshakes from the near by fast food places laughing, and pointing like it was just another movie scene. Prayers go out to this man, and his family.
Nancy September 17, 2011 at 08:55 AM
Poor guy Did the 3.5 earthquake make him change his mind and come down? He must have felt it, it was centered right at the san joaquin hills area...
Carl Hamilton September 19, 2011 at 07:22 PM
Just awful that people wanted to see a tragedy rather than this man get some help.

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