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Man perching on I-15 barrier arrested

By Andrew Adams | Posted - May 12, 2011 at 12:15 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY -- A man is behind bars after a high-wire act Salt Lake City Police aren't taking lightly.

The man, identified as 46-year-old John Gallegos, was walking, skipping, running and dancing on barrier wall that is only 5 inches wide, at best. It took police at least half an hour to get him down.

In the end, Gallegos wound up cuffed and surrounded by a healthy assortment of cops.

Salt Lake police Lt. J.R. Nelson explained, "He was coming down from a meth high and he was tweakin' a little bit."

It was probably the best-case scenario ending, considering the man was standing dangerously high atop the narrow barrier wall. Traffic cam video shows speeding traffic on one side and a sheer drop-off on both sides. Police and other emergency responders were prepared for the worst.

Darby Gates, who lives near the scene, said, "He was right in front of the house here, and he asked them as he was sitting on the wall, ‘If I jump down, are you guys going to catch me?'"

Gates says it was shocking and scary what the man was doing. "Walking and running and skipping, and at some points he was laying down, some points he was laying over the wall." She thought at one point Gallegos would jump.

As crews swiveled fire ladders to try to bring him down, he sprinted. Ultimately, he came down surrounded by officers.

"We don't want somebody hitting a person coming off a wall. It would kind of ruin their day also," Nelson said.

Apparently Gallegos climbed on top of a shed to get onto the wall.

He was booked into jail, not for this stunt, but for aggravated assault, following something that happened a couple days ago.

E-mail: aadams@ksl.com

(Photo: UDOT)

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Andrew Adams

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