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Did you happen to encounter the traffic delay last night (May 17) on southbound 5th Street in Grand Junction? What was going on?

If you were in the area of Whitman Park Sunday, May 17 night around 7 p.m., you probably saw several Grand Junction police cars converging on the area. Police were responding to several calls regarding an individual in a state of distress.

I was driving northbound on 5th Avenue shortly after 7 p.m. at the moment this event occurred. At the intersection of 5th and Pitkin, a red-haired male, I'm guessing roughly 30 years of age, was in the middle southbound lanes. While standing in the middle of the two lanes, in a very distressed voice, he repeatedly screamed "Kill me... Kill me." Refusing to leave the middle of the street, he took a defensive stance and challenged cars to run him over.

I certainly mean no disrespect, but at a glance, I would guess the person was homeless, possibly a resident of the park. Needless to say, he was, at least at that moment, not in a proper state of mind.

After pulling through the intersection, I was able to place a call to dispatch. By that time several other motorists had called the Grand Junction Police Department. Before completing my call, at least two GJPD vehicles arrived. According to the dispatcher, three to four units were on the way.

When it is all said and done, there is good news to report. After messaging the Grand Junction Police Department this morning, it appears the matter unfolded without incident. Police spoke to the individual and he ultimately went on his way. I was a little surprised to hear this. Based on what I witnessed, the subject seemed seriously tormented and anxious to do harm to himself.

Thank you to the other motorists who made the call for assistance. This could have easily gone the wrong way. A special thank you to the motorcyclist who pulled up to the individual and tried to assist. Of course, thanks to the GJPD for responding so quickly and dissolving the situation.

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