A man walked onto Interstate 10 in Whitewater in an attempt to coerce officers into shooting him, but was instead disarmed with non-lethal weapons and taken to a hospital, the California Highway Patrol reported Tuesday.
Officers were sent around 4:30 p.m. Sunday to westbound Interstate 10 near Tipton Road on a report of a shirtless man carrying “what appeared to be an icepick in his hand,” according to CHP Officer Darren Meyer.
The westbound lanes were closed, stalling traffic on the freeway for about an hour amid triple-digit temperatures, while officers tried to talk down the 42-year-old San Pedro resident, who “held the pointed object to his neck” and told “officers that he wanted to die and for them to shoot him,” Meyer said.
The officer said the man “refused to comply with officers to drop the pointed object as he paced in the freeway lanes,” then began walking toward the center median wall after about 25 minutes of negotiation with law enforcement. At that point, officers shot him with a beanbag gun and also used a stun gun to bring him down, as they worried he would leap over the median wall and into eastbound traffic, Meyer said.
He was taken to San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning “for medical treatment and psychological evaluation.”
All lanes were reopened by 5:30 p.m.