Both directions of the 101 Freeway were reopened after being shut down due to a man threatening to commit suicide by jumping off an overpass. The man came down on his own around 5 p.m. and was taken into custody by the California Highway Patrol, LAPD Officer Jack Richter told KPCC.
"This individual was reacting on the bridge in a strange and threatening manner, and they determined that he was possibly going to jump off the bridge. So the officers were there trying to negotiate with him," Richter said.
Shortly before 6 p.m., all lanes in both directions on the 101 were reopened, according to the California Highway Patrol. The major highway had been shut down at the Lankershim Boulevard exit near Universal Studios Hollywood, Richter said.
"You can imagine we're looking at, what, Friday afternoon, that's going to really cause a tremendous traffic congestion," Richter said. He said that the officers' priority was getting the man safely off of the bridge.
The man was taken into custody on a 5150 psychiatric hold for evaluation.
"Typically what we do is with our mental evaluation team from LAPD, is we evaluate them. We're going to try to get this person some medical treatment," Richter said.
The Fire Department was also on the scene, where they had deployed an airbag in the event that the man followed through on the threat. The LAPD's crisis negotiation team was used to try to talk the man into peacefully surrendering, according to Richter.
Freeways throughout L.A. County have been clogged Friday after flooding and mudslides shut down two major highways.
Listen to Camille Santos, a nursing student who was stuck on the 101 Freeway:
"It was very shocking at first of course everyone was in shock, hearts were beating fast, I was sweating for the guy and it was kind of shocking," Santos said. "I kinda never want to be in traffic ever again after today."
She also said that people were turning off their engines and walking around while they waited for the situation to be resolved.
Justin Rupple was another Los Angeles resident stuck on the 101 for hours:
"When you see helicopters in Los Angeles it tends to get a little bit nerve-wracking," Rupple said. "When you see a lot of them start to congregate overhead, and I've been in Los Angeles for six years, so when you see a backup that far down the 101 with no traffic moving in the opposite direction, you start to get a little worried."
"That's really the only route to cut up and down, is that 101 there, so I think a lot of people's lives were disrupted," Rupple said. "This is just completely unusual."
This is the area where the freeway was shut down:
This story has been updated.