In this image made from video provided by the Georgia Department of Transportation, Marietta Police block traffic lanes in a southbound direction on Interstate 75, near Marietta, Georgia, north of Atlanta, on Friday, 29 March 2019. Marietta police said in a brief statement that the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 were shut down Friday morning by a motorist stopped on the highway, just northwest of Atlanta. Police described the driver as a “non-compatible driver.” (Georgia Department of Transportation via AP)
ATLANTA – A police stand-off brought traffic to a standstill Friday at an Atlanta-area highway as officers confronted with a motorist who they believed was armed and was consistent with the description of a robbery suspect.
It ended without violence when he was taken into custody.
Video of a TV news helicopter showed the police pulling the man from a car, apparently, ends the confrontation that is being played in the middle of Interstate 75.
More than a dozen officers with guns drawn had filled four lanes of the highway as the police are faced with a driver they said was armed and not to cooperate with the police. The confrontation lasted more than an hour.
News, photos proved that the man was still alive as he was carried away by the officers, and the police later said that he was arrested, without injury.
The dramatic incident began with a report of an armed robbery a few kilometres away, to the customer service department of a Walmart store. Officers viewed video footage of the shop and has determined that the suspect had driven away in a gray Honda Civic, police said.
Officers saw a car matching the description and began following it, Marietta police spokesman Chuck McPhilamy told reporters.
“He went to the side of the interstate, and then refused to exit the vehicle,” McPhilamy said.
That led police to close all lanes of southbound I-75, just northwest of Atlanta.
“We had to do that for everyone’s safety,” McPhilamy said, if the police used a phone line to conduct an “off-and-on negotiations” with the motorist.
News, photos showed an officer with a range gun atop an armored vehicle and stare down at the suspect as the police tried to resolve the situation.
Video from a news helicopter showed the armored vehicle urging closer to the car as a drone hovered in the vicinity of the driver’s windshield. Then, the drone flew swiftly skyward and out of the way as the officers ran to the car and grabbed the driver.
The traffic was backed up for miles. The conflict came on a particularly busy day on Atlanta highways when people were traveling through the city on their way to their spring break destinations.
The situation unfolded in the near SunTrust Park, the home of the Atlanta Braves, but there was no home game in the stadium Friday.
In a Friday afternoon update on the case, police said the motorist was taken to a hospital to receive a medical evaluation. His name was not released.
The police said during the conflict that the man was armed, but no information about a weapon was released after the incident ended.
Marietta detectives investigating the incident and have obtained a search warrant for the vehicle.