Local News

Bay Bridge standoff result of troubled man's threats

Thursday, November 11, 2010
The man claims he tossed a toy gun into the water. The CHP has not confirmed. A man who claimed to have explosives on the Bay Bridge is now in custody. CHP officer Trent Cross

A two hour backup at the Bay Bridge Thursday morning is being blamed on a troubled driver. The man claimed to have explosives and a gun on him when he stopped his SUV on the upper deck just after 7 a.m.

Craig Carlos-Valentino, 51, is a security guard and reportedly an Army veteran. He called 911 just as the holiday commute began. He was obviously agitated and said he had a gun as well as explosives in his Ford Explorer and he had just stopped on the Bay Bridge.

The CHP temporarily closed all approaches to the bridge. The closure caused heavy traffic on westbound I-580, I-80, Highway 24 and more.

CHP spokesperson Sgt. Trent Cross says the gun would turn out to be a toy pistol, but at the time it looked real to the responding officers.

Carlos-Valentino left his Antioch home earlier Thursday morning with his 16-year-old daughter. He had told her they were going to breakfast.

"She noticed he was acting unusual, a little out of character; he was shaking," Cross said.

When he pulled over and stopped on the bridge, Carlos-Valentino said he did not want anything to happen to her and told his daughter to leave. Police quickly whisked her away as a San Francisco police negotiator began talking to Valentino on his cell phone.

"He seemed very agitated, very upset, very angry," Cross said.

Carlos-Valentino told the officer he thought his wife of 20 years was cheating on him and that he was at his wits end.

"He had a handgun similar to this one and he was waving it in the air in this kind of motion," Cross said.

Carlos-Valentino threw the toy pistol into the water. At one point, he climbed over the bridge railing while threatening to jump.

Police were able to talk him into surrendering around 8 a.m., just over an hour after the bridge closed. In a rare move, they allowed him to handcuff himself.

No explosives were found in Carlos-Valentino's car. He has been charged with brandishing a firearm, making criminal threats and child endangerment.

The Department of Homeland Security was actually monitoring the situation, when it was unknown whether or not it really was a terrorist situation.

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Tags:
bay bridge, standoff, CHP, local news, vic lee
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