Man with knife runs from officers across Phoenix freeway

A man with a knife was seen running across traffic on the I-17 Friday morning as Phoenix police officers and DPS troo...

Posted: Jul 9, 2018 1:19 PM
Updated: Jul 9, 2018 1:19 PM

A man with a knife was seen running across traffic on the I-17 Friday morning as Phoenix police officers and DPS troopers tried to catch him.

It was all caught on the Arizona Department of Transportation's freeway cameras at about 10 a.m.

According to Sgt. Tommy Thompson with Phoenix Police, officers responded to a call of a man with a knife throwing rocks at cars.

Jesus Guerra was eating at a restaurant nearby when he saw the commotion and started recording video on his cell phone.

"It was kind of crazy because the officer was chasing him and we never thought he was going to jump," said Guerra.

Thompson said officers confronted the man, who had a 12 inch knife, and attempted to calm him down. That's when the man took off his shirt and ran across the lanes of traffic on southbound I-17 at Seventh Avenue and jumped onto someone's pickup truck.

Officers tried to apprehend the man by shooting him with non-lethal stun bags but they did not subdue him.

"They tried to negotiate with him, tried to get him to calm down so they could see if he need help or what the problem was," said Thompson. "He shot at him several times, struck him several times, but it didn't seem to have any affect," explained Thompson.

The man then ran to the edge of the freeway and hopped over the overpass and landed on the street below.

The man survived the fall and was taken to a local hospital. Thompson said his injuries are not life-threatening.

Police are looking into what could have caused this man to act so erratically.

"It's a danger to everybody involved and in this case our officers took the action needed," said Thompson. "It appears when the individual thought he was jumping off the freeway onto the ledge or something, but he was jumping down onto the pavement onto 7th Ave."

Southbound traffic on Seventh Avenue was shut down at the I-17 during the investigation. It has since reopened.

The man's name has not yet been released. It is unclear what charges he will face.

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