NEW YORK — A man armed with a BB gun when he threatened to jump off the George Washington Bridge, forcing the closure of all upper level lanes, was detained on Friday, according to a police source.
The incident was initially reported by multiple agencies through Twitter around 10:20 a.m.
Within the the hour, sources said the man handed his weapon to officers on scene and was later detained.
The first officer to respond to the scene described the ordeal at an afternoon news conference.
Driving eastbound on the bridge, the officer said he noticed a man looking over the railing, and “a little off.” At the same time, the police radio announced a man of a similar description was being sought.
The officer pulled over and approached the man, asking if he was OK. The man, whose hands were in his pocket, said he was simply taking pictures, and told the officer, “don’t crowd me.”
When asked to make his hands visible, the man allegedly pulled out the BB gun and pointed it at the officer.
The officer then took cover, as additional officers arrived. The man was later detained.
“He’s in the hospital, where hopefully he gets help,” the officer said.
All upper level lanes of the George Washington Bridge were closed as the ordeal unfolded. NYC Office of Emergency Management officials said all lanes were reopened within one hour.
During the incident, commuters were advised to use the lower level, GWBridge Alerts tweeted.
Southbound traffic was diverted to the Fletcher off-ramp at the time, according to the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department.
NJ Transit buses service traveling to and from the bridge was subject to delays up to 30 minutes.
PIX11’s Nicole Johnson and James Ford contributed to this report.