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Person detained after chase across Highway 101 in San Francisco

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One person is in custody after police chased him across Highway 101 in San Francisco. (KGO-TV)

A dramatic chase and rescue brought traffic to a standstill Sunday afternoon in the northbound lanes of Highway 101 in San Francisco.

CHP Officers chased a man who had been running barefoot through lanes of traffic. That man dove off the side of the freeway to get away, and ended up holding on to the ledge for his life.

Drivers first reported seeing the man running barefoot in a gown near the Cesar Chavez Street exit around 5 p.m.

CHP Officer Vu Williams was the first to spot the subject. "I stopped the patrol vehicle, hopped the center divide and went after him," said Officer Williams. "When he saw me coming he ran to the side of the freeway and then actually jumped over the bridge railing."

"That section of 101 right there is elevated freeway probably about 30 feet up in the air. And so he jumped over. Not sure what his intention was. He was hanging on to the railing and so I ran up there grabbed both his wrists was hanging on to him," said Officer Williams.

Marv Lem was driving home to Oakland when the man ran right in front of his car. He saw him dive over the guard rail.

Before you head out to your car, be sure to check out the ABC7 traffic maps for real-time information to help you navigate through traffic jams.

"Once he went over the rail and the police were holding on to him for dear life, I didn't think twice," he said. "I just jumped out like, man I gotta help save this man's life." He helped pull the man to safety.

"My grip was loosening up and he would have gone over the side without the help of the good samaritans," said Officer Williams.

Officers say the man was incoherent and they don't know why he was running on the highway. His name has not been released.

At one point, a CHP helicopter landed on the northbound lanes of traffic. The pilot helped restrain the man and take him into custody. "That's typically not something that would happen of course," explains Officer Williams. "They are normally up there observing and relaying information but because of the nature of him hanging on to that railing and about to go over -- it was a situation of life or death if you will for that gentleman. So they had to land and get some help to me."

The man was handcuffed and taken to SF General Hospital where he's being held for a mental health evaluation.


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SFPDCHPpolice chaseHighway 101san francisco countyarrestSan Francisco
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