People stuck on San Rafael bridge during standoff get creative with time

James Chan (IG @jchanmagic) juggles on the San Rafael bridge on July 22, 2023. Photo credit: Kat and Dan Chan

People stuck on the Richmond-San Rafael bridge for hours during a standoff Friday had to get creative with the time.

All eastbound lanes were shut down nearly 20 hours while authorities negotiated with a person having a mental health crisis on the bridge. Some people sat frustrated while others figured out ways to entertain themselves and others.

There was juggling, skateboarding, dog walking, and much more.

ALSO: Richmond-San Rafael Bridge reopens after standoff ends, person rescued

James Chan, a 15-year-old magician based in Fremont, was on the way back from an event in Santa Rosa when he and his mom got stuck on the bridge. They were about 20 cars away from the person in crisis.

KTVU spoke with James and his parents, Kat and Dan Chan, on Saturday.

"We wanted to do something to pass the time and make people smile, so we rolled down the windows, blared Mr. Blue Sky in jukebox mode, and started juggling," said Chan. "People really started lighting up and were in good spirits."

Chan said they lucked out because they ended up next to a guy hauling a port-a-potty.

"The guy was nice enough to lower it so people could get in and use the bathroom," said Chan.

Chan said others around them were skateboarding, bicycling, walking their dogs, and just strolling around the bridge to take in the views.

All lanes reopened Saturday around 7 a.m. when the standoff ended and the person struggling was rescued, officials said.

People who were stuck on the Richmond-San Rafael bridge next to this port-a-potty got lucky. Photo credit: Kat and Dan Chan, July 22, 2023