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Man apprehended after Somerset bridge incident

This bridge, shown crossing the Apple River in Somerset, was the site of an incident between a man and authorities Feb. 28. File photo

A high-intensity situation on the Apple River bridge in Somerset ended after more than an hour-and-a-half Wednesday with a man’s arrest.

St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said the man was taken into custody after a lengthy stalemate on the Highway 64 bridge near the downtown corridor, where negotiators convinced the man not to jump.

The man, a 30-year-old St. Croix Falls resident, was later jailed for a Department of Corrections hold.

Knudson said deputies were investigating a stolen car report when they spotted a man in downtown Somerset matching the description of someone seen leaving the car. The man took off running around 7:30 p.m. and got to the bridge, where he encountered officers blocking both directions of travel, according to the sheriff.

There, the man hopped a fence and threatened to jump, Knudson said. The man faced a 30-foot drop to rocks beneath him.

The situation set off a dialogue between the man and sheriff’s negotiators that ended just after 9 p.m. Knudson said the man was taken into custody without incident or injury.

And while the sheriff admitted the incident represented “a major inconvenience” for motorists while the bridge was closed, he didn’t regret the peaceful conclusion.

“The guys did a good job keeping an open dialogue with him,” the sheriff said. “They took their time. In this instance, time was on our side, where we were able to negotiate with him.”

Knudson said deputies continued to investigate the man’s role in the events leading up to the bridge standoff.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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