April 18, 2024

Naked woman on Bay Bridge suffered mental health crisis: CHP

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A woman was experiencing a mental health crisis when she took off her clothes, got out of her car, and fired a gun on the Bay Bridge during Tuesday’s evening rush-hour, according to the California Highway Patrol.

At first, confused drivers thought traffic had gridlocked on the bridge because of a crash. The woman’s abandoned car was in the middle of Interstate-80’s traffic lanes.

Once drivers spotted the naked woman walking along the bridge with a knife and a gun, they realized the danger of the situation.

“For whatever reason, this woman exited her vehicle with this firearm. She began shooting rounds into the air. People (were) caught in this backup, not knowing what’s ahead, thinking it’s a crash (and) trying to go around. As they are now driving past her, she is firing rounds left and right,” CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said.

The woman was yelling, brandishing weapons, and attempting to get into other cars, witnesses told 911 dispatchers.

Frightened motorists began calling 911 around 4:30 p.m.

CHP officers shut down the Bay Bridge’s eastbound lanes before officers approached the armed woman. Officers quickly determined that the strange scene was primarily a mental health crisis incident, Barclay said.

“This individual was experiencing some form of a mental health crisis. All highway patrol officers receive mental health training, meaning, we learn how to speak to people who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. Obviously we do have a crime that has been committed, but we need to make sure we get them the help that they need,” Barclay said.

The woman followed officers’ orders and dropped her weapons.

“We were able to get to her. Fortunately, she listened to us. We were able to get her to drop the gun. We were able to take her into custody,” Barclay said. She was then transported in an ambulance to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

CHP officials said the woman will be evaluated by mental health experts before any potential criminal charges are filed.

A domino effect from the Bay Bridge created an hours-long traffic nightmare for commuters trying to drive home from San Francisco to the East Bay.

The California Highway Patrol gave the following chronology of Tuesday’s events on the Bay Bridge:

  • “At approximately 4:38 p.m., the California Highway Patrol Golden Gate Communications Center received a 911 call reporting a reckless driver traveling eastbound on Interstate 80 on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The caller advised dispatchers that in addition to erratic driving, the female driver brandished a firearm at them before speeding off.”
  • “A short time later, the suspect briefly stopped in traffic lanes and exited her vehicle where she brandished a knife and started yelling at drivers in other vehicles.”
  • “The suspect then reentered her vehicle and continued driving eastbound. As the suspect approached the SFOBB toll plaza, she once again stopped the vehicle and exited, now completely naked, with a firearm in her hand.”
  • “Witnesses reported that the suspect then began shooting the firearm in the air before firing shots at other vehicles nearby.”
  • “As the suspect began walking away from the scene on foot, she began trying to enter other stopped vehicles, but was unable to.”
  • “CHP officers arrived on scene as the suspect was walking toward the I-880 transition ramp and ordered her to drop her weapon.  The suspect complied with officer’s orders and was taken into custody.”
  • “An ambulance was called to the scene and the suspect was transported to a local hospital for medical and psychiatric evaluations.”

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