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Handcuffed man in custody jumps to death during incident on Missouri bridge

Posted at 11:38 AM, Aug 09, 2018

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — A handcuffed man in police custody jumped to his death from a bridge on Interstate 435 just south of the Missouri River and the Missouri 210 exit, according to the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department.

The man has been identified as Michael Barnett, 43.

KCPD said a man and woman were darting into traffic on a bridge, which is located north of Front Street and before 210 Highway.

At least two officers responded to the scene, one in a patrol car and another in a wagon.

When officers detained both subjects, the man, who was in handcuffs, fled and jumped to his death off the bridge. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The woman was uninjured, according to a KCPD spokesman, and is cooperating with police.

The incident, which happened around 9 a.m., led police to shut down the outside lane of I-435 at Front Street.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker went to the scene because it was an in-custody death.

KCPD said it's "standard procedure because of the classification" for the county prosecutor to monitor the investigation.

According to the KCPD Policies and Procedures manual, an officer should "maintain control of a handcuffed arrestee (i.e. proper forward or reverse escort) or place them in a position to prevent flight."

But police spokesman Capt. Lionel Colon said there are situational considerations within each arrest, including an option to place a handcuffed suspect in a patrol car or sit him on the curb.