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A disgruntled Vietnam Veteran threatening to take his own life on a Turnpike overpass in Davie, Fla., has surrendered to SWAT members.
The standoff started Monday morning and forced the Florida Highway Patrol to shut down the Turnpike, Interstate 595 and State Road 84 at the Griffin Road exit. This left motorists stranded for hours.
"It's crazy," said one driver. "20 minute drive and it's been an hour."
The vet has been identified as 59-year-old Fredy Gutierrez. Around 8:30 a.m., police said he parked a white van on a ramp that connects southbound Turnpike to either I-595, US-441 or State Road 84.
Gutierrez dangled his leg over the edge of the overpass and authorities said he had a noose tied around his neck that was also tied to the back of the van. Also, sitting by his side was an assault rifle with an American Flag mounted on it.
"This man was literally on the edge, literally," said Davie Police Capt. Dale Engle. "One wrong move and he would've fallen, and I'm sure it would've been certain death."
Negotiators and the SWAT were called out to the scene and after about an hour of negotiations, Gutierrez, who was wearing a T-shirt that said 'Served with honor,' surrendered. He has been transported to a local hospital.
According to Davie Police, Gutierrez said he has had difficulty getting help from the Veterans Affairs and he is facing deportation.
The ramp where the standoff occurred remains closed. All other major highways have since been reopened.
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