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Man Jumps Off Bridge After Standoff

November 5, 1998

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) _ A man threatened suicide on a bridge across the Potomoc River, snarling traffic on the Capital Beltway for 5 1/2 hours before he jumped Wednesday.

Ivan Pointer, 32, of Alexandria, was pulled from the water and taken to the Washington Hospital Center, where a spokeswoman said he was in serious condition.

Pointer was shot in the leg with a bean bag fired from a shotgun, a non-lethal tool used to subdue suspects, said Terrance Gainer of the Washington, D.C. police department. Two officers tried to grab him and then he jumped, Gainer said.

The fall from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge was about 75 feet into the chilly river, which separates Virginia from Washington and Maryland. No charges were filed immediately against Pointer, police said.

Pointer complained about a history of domestic abuse ``and wanted more interaction with his child,″ Gainer said. Negotiators played him an audio tape from his wife and son that appeared to calm him, Gainer said.

Authorities said they routinely handle suicide threats on the bridge without closing the span, but they feared Pointer might be armed. No gun was found, Gainer said.

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