Man Climbs on Los Angeles Freeway Sign

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(KTLA) — Traffic was backed up for miles on both sides of the 101 after authorities shut down all but one lane near downtown Los Angeles because of a person on a freeway sign Thursday afternoon.

FOX40 sister station KTLA reports the freeway fully reopened around 6 p.m., nearly four hours after the closure went into effect near the Mission Road overpass in the Boyle Heights area around 2:15 p.m.

Though lanes reopened, motorists were still warned to expect congestion.

A man who was “standing precariously on/near a sign above freeway lanes” was taken into protective care by California Highway Patrol around 5:30 p.m., LAFD stated. Around 6:15 p.m., aerial video showed CHP still struggling with the same man along an off-ramp’s shoulder, though his arms were eventually restrained behind his back in handcuffs.

The man would be medically assessed and taken to the hospital if necessary, officials said.

He was believed to be having a “behavioral emergency” and possibly “contemplating self harm,” according to fire officials.

It was not immediately clear why he climbed up onto the sign.

Sky5 aerial video over the scene showed the underwear-clad man clinging to the signage above the roadway around 3:30 p.m. Several firefighters were standing on a ladder as they worked to try and coax him down. Personnel from multiple agencies could be seen standing on near the roadway.

Two large inflatable cushions were placed beneath.

All lanes were closed for nearly three hours amid the ongoing situation. One southbound lane was reopened just before 5 p.m., and the northbound freeway reopened at about 6 p.m.

The incident left traffic snarled on both sides of the freeway amid the afternoon rush-hour, the aerial footage showed.

California Highway Patrol officials are urging motorists to avoid the 101 Freeway in the downtown L.A. area, as well as the westbound 10 Freeway, amid the ongoing police activity.

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