How Michigan State troopers saved man on I-75

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A 37-year-old man who caused traffic on I-75 to come to a stop while threatening suicide, has now been charged with multiple felonies just a day after leading police on a chase from Pontiac to Monroe.

Juan Colon, 37, is in the Monroe County Jail after leading police on a chase through multiple counties down I-75 while threatening violence against himself and others on Facebook Live. He was just a few miles from the Ohio border when spike strips were thrown and brought the pursuit to a stop.

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Then Michigan State Police negotiator Sierra Hammond got involved.

"Like any other call - I'm given a location told to show up and find out who I'm talking to," Hammond said. "If we are ramped up, if we're excited, then it will ramp them up and they are already agitated, for the most part."

Every 911 call is unique and on the end of the line is someone who just wants to be heard. But Thursday's call was even more unique - it was in the middle of a closed I-75.

"Mostly it's like being with people. How do you be with people? People want to be understood," MSP psychologist  Dr. Rick Copen said.

State police negotiators train together four times a year for this kind of situation. That training is relied upon when they are called to act. Despite the fact that this barricaded gunman locked down a major freeway for hours. Police say they encounter similar situations roughly 40 times a year.

In this situation, closing a freeway is a major inconvenience but that part of the equation never entered the minds of those trying to diffuse the situation.
 
"It's getting them to a point of realizing there's something beyond today. They're so focused on today and the hear and the now, it's thinking beyond that and realizing there could be something more," Hammond said.

In the end, Colon put his gun down and gave himself up. It was a textbook ending for these professionals.

Colon was charged with fleeing and evading, resisting arrest, having a concealed weapon, and using that weapon in the commission of a felony.

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