Man Armed With Rifle Runs Down Middle of Riverside County Freeway

The five-hour closure led to a lengthy traffic backup in Riverside County

The 215 Freeway in Riverside County was closed Sunday morning due to a bomb squad investigation after a report of a man running on the freeway with a rifle. 

Traffic backed up in the Perris area, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles, around 6 a.m. Sunday after witness reports of a man with a gun running alongside the freeway divider and sitting on the road.

"We got multiple calls of a man laying down, standing up, running back and forth on the center divider," said CHP Officer Marcne Francois.

The California Highway Patrol confirmed the gun was loaded, but malfunctioned when the man tried to fire.

As the man was taken into custody, he told officers he had a device in his sport utility vehicle. Bomb squad members used a robot to investigate the contents of the SUV, which was parked on the freeway.

No explosives were found in the SUV, according to the CHP. No injuries were reported. 

The five-hour road closure led to a major traffic backup in Riverside County.

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