Police arrest man in downtown Seattle highway tunnel, charge him with climbing onto car, assaulting officer

Police arrested a man for trespassing and assaulting an officer after he allegedly walked the pavement inside the Highway 99 tunnel in downtown Seattle on Wednesday afternoon and briefly climbed into a passing car, the Seattle Police Department reported on its website.

The incident occurred around 4 p.m. when emergency dispatchers received calls from “multiple emergency phones” in the State Route 99 tunnel, according to a statement posted on the department’s online blotter.

“Based on the man’s statements, the 911 operators believed the man was going through a crisis,” the statement said. “Almost immediately after, motorists started calling 911 to report the man standing in the southbound lanes of the tunnel putting himself in danger and creating a danger.”

At one point, the man allegedly “jumped onto the roof of a moving vehicle and stood there briefly before falling onto the sidewalk,” the statement said.

Agents trained to deal with people with mental health crises were called to the scene and closed the southbound lanes of the tunnel for about 30 minutes while they contacted the man, the department statement said.

After the man “refused to leave the tunnel, hit an officer in the arm and tried to flee from the police,” he was arrested, the statement said.

Police took the man to Harborview Medical Center for treatment and planned to lock him up in King County Jail when he was released. Officers are asking anyone “whose vehicle may have been damaged during the incident” to call 206-625-5011 or file a report online.