WOOD RIVER, Neb. (KSNB) Law enforcement officers were able to safely conclude a 90 minute stand-off with a man who started a pursuit on Interstate 80 Friday morning between Kearney and Wood River.
The State Patrol said the pursuit started about 9:20 Friday morning when the public called in about a vehicle driving dangerously on east-bound I-80 near Kearney. A state trooper attempted a traffic stop but the driver continued east-bound. At the time the trooper saw a firearm inside the vehicle.
During the pursuit, the driver called the Buffalo county 911 center and was transferred to state patrol dispatchers who spoke with him for several minutes. They then connected him to a state patrol negotiator.
Troopers conducted a controlled pursuit and were able to successfully use spike strips to deflate at least one of the pickup’s tires near the Wood River exit. The vehicle exited I-80 at mile marker 300 around 10:00 AM and NSP negotiators remained in contact.
The man remained in his vehicle for about 90 minutes speaking to negotiators on the east-bound off ramp at the Wood River exit. The man continued conversations with the negotiator. During the course of the incident the man threatened to harm himself.
"We began speaking with the individual, we had negotiators talking to him on the cellphone. The individual had made some threatening statements but not directed towards law enforcement," Sergeant Joel Bergman said.
During the stand-off, the Wood River exit was closed and traffic was restricted on the east-bound lane of the interstate.
The patrol said the man surrendered to troopers about 11:25. He was taken into protective custody for evaluation. The scene was cleared shortly thereafter.
Deputies from the Buffalo and Hall county sheriff's office assisted during the situation. An ambulance from Wood River Fire and Rescue was also on stand-by and redirecting traffic from Highway 11. A State Patrol helicopter was also monitoring the scene from the air.
"He is being transported to be evaluated and checked at that time there will be charges pending," Sgt. Bergman said.
The State Patrol did not immediately reveal the suspect's name. They said that he has been taken into Emergency Protective Custody and there are no charges pending from the State Patrol at this time.