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

All eastbound lanes of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge reopened just after 7 a.m. Saturday after a standoff with someone experiencing a mental health emergency ended, authorities say. 

The California Highway Patrol said the person requested a rescue, and they were able to bring the standoff to a close after nearly 20 hours.

CHP had received a call that the person had jumped from the upper deck to the lower deck shortly before noon Friday. 

Authorities shut down the lower deck of the bridge and eastbound I-580 at Sir Francis Drake and the Main St. and San Quentin on-ramps were also closed, after additional drivers reported seeing the man run through multiple lanes of traffic, the CHP said in a statement on Saturday.

The man was eventually taken into custody and brought to a local mental health facility where he is receiving care, the CHP added in the statement. 

Some travelers stuck in the traffic jam could be seen lingering outside their cars and trucks as they waited for the police activity to be resolved. Some got off 580 to try to wait it out. 

"I'd rather wait here than get stuck in the traffic," said Jorg Trujillo. "I just want to wait here until I see traffic moving, and then I will move on. What can you do with the traffic? Nothing really."

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All lanes of the eastbound Richmond-San Rafael Bridge were blocked due to a person having a mental health crisis on July 21, 2023, police said. It created a major traffic delay.

From: KTVU FOX 2

San Rafael Police Department tweeted at 6:42 p.m. Friday that their city streets were impacted. 

A man, who was riding in the bicycle lane when this was happening, described what he saw. He said he saw a young man who seemed distraught. 

James Bennett said he saw the distraught person jump down to the lower deck and CHP deputies run down the ramp after him. He walked his bike past this with another person before he continued to ride across. He said traffic at that time was backed up to the Richmond Parkway.  

One driver said it took nearly two hours to go from San Rafael to San Francisco. In the city, Gough Street and other city streets leading to the Bay Bridge were impacted. 

If you know someone who is struggling with mental health, there is a national hotline for help. The National Mental Health Hotline is 988.