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Utah couple at Hoover Dam Bridge during police standoff shares their story

Posted at 9:27 PM, Jun 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-15 23:27:06-04

CLARK COUNTY, Nevada – A Salt Lake City couple found themselves feet away from a man who barricaded himself on the Hoover Dam Bridge Friday.

Police say the man was driving what they believe was a homemade armored vehicle when he stopped traffic on U.S. Highway 93.

Merrill Ford and his wife were on their way to Sedona, Arizona when their trip came to a sudden halt.

“All of the sudden, the traffic just stopped and we didn’t know what was going on,” Merrill Ford said.

Merrill witnessed people getting out of their cars to get away from the scene.

“Everybody starts running off the bridge,” Ford described. “We didn’t. My wife is handicapped. She doesn’t walk so well.”

Instead of running away, Ford got out of his car to see what was causing the commotion. He noticed whoever was stopping traffic had signs displaying a message for President Donald Trump.

“He had demands for, he wants Donald Trump to release some O.I.G. report or something like that,” Ford said.

As police closed in, Ford realized he was too close to a volatile situation and decided to take cover.

“We kind of pulled behind this bus because, in case of a firefight or something, or he starts shooting rounds off,” he said.

Eventually, Merrill and his wife were led away to a safer location.

“They were worried he was going to blow the bridge, so we had to evacuate the bridge,” he said.

Police say the suspect tried to get away in the armored car, but he was eventually arrested peacefully in Arizona. They have not confirmed if the suspect was armed.

After a delay of more than two hours, Merrill and his wife continued their road trip. One they won’t soon forget.

“A lot of people taking off running, crying," Ford said. "My wife was really upset. I wasn’t too worried about it."