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UPDATE: Man falls off overpass after apparent Taser use

The man, whose name has not been released, fell from the overpass at Providence and Interstate 70 at about 12:03 p.m. Friday.
Friday, July 25, 2008 | 2:16 p.m. CDT; updated 9:24 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 26, 2008

Note to readers: The content in the KMIZ video linked below might be disturbing to some viewers.

COLUMBIA — A man fell off the overpass at Providence and Interstate 70 after being shot with a Taser by Columbia Police on Friday, according to footage on KMIZ's Web site. In the video, a police officer discharged his Taser while the man was speaking to police on the walkway. After being hit, the man ran a short distance before he fell to the ground and rolled off the overpass, falling about 10 feet to an embankment.

Emergency crews placed him in neck and back braces before putting him in a University Hospital ambulance, Columbia Police Officer Mark Brotemarkle said. The man was conscious and breathing.

Before 11 a.m., crowds gathered near the intersection, parking their cars at nearby gas stations to watch the man on the bridge. He was hanging onto the outside of protective fencing covering the pedestrian walkway on the overpass, inching back and forth over the interstate.

During the incident, some spectators began yelling at the man; some people in the MG Auto Repair parking lot urged him to jump.

About 30 minutes before the man fell or jumped off the bridge, a woman showed up at the scene and told police that she was the man's daughter.

"Let me get through," she told an officer. "That is my father; I am the daughter." Police did not let the woman through, instead a police negotiator led her to the median and began questioning her.

When the man fell, people began yelling "He jumped! He jumped!" The woman who said she was the man's daughter fell to her knees on the median and began screaming.

All lanes of I-70 and Providence Road are now open.

Police had earlier closed I-70 because of the man's threats to jump off the bridge, an operator at Joint Communications said.

The man's condition and name are unknown at this time.

The Missourian is continuing to gather information about the incident.

Elliot Njus contributed to this report.


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