Traffic was backed up for hours Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 5 while a police negotiator talked with a man threatening to jump off a railing onto a street below, authorities said.
Juventino Treto, 41, of Mexico straddled the railing on northbound I-5 over Rosecrans Street and Pacific Coast Highway about 1:10 p.m. He was taken into custody about 5:30 p.m. and has been admitted for observation at the Hillcrest mental hospital, police said.
The California Highway Patrol closed the transition road that Treto was on, which goes from northbound I-5 to westbound Interstate 8, CHP Officer Joe Roque said.
The CHP also shut down the ramp connecting northbound I-5 to eastbound I-8, Roque said.
When the CHP opened up lanes after Treto was taken away, traffic was backed up about 5 miles on northbound I-5 to the 7th Avenue exit, Roque said. "People were calling in on the call boxes. . . . It was a bad time of day for this to happen," he said.
Treto had been bitten by a police dog two days ago when San Diego police officers were trying to subdue him after he had armed himself with a knife and was threatening them, said Bill Robinson, department spokesman.
On Tuesday, Treto was pulled over the railing by police officers after Detective Art Cavada, a negotiator, talked him into reaching over the railing for some food, Robinson said. A commendation is being prepared for Cavada, he added.
CHP Officer Jackie Sturges estimated that six people in the past five months have jumped or threatened to jump from freeways in the county.