© Larry Fink
Breaking News: Man arrested after overpass standoff.
Police have arrested a man who was waving a gun and an American flag on a freeway overpass in Santa Barbara this morning, causing authorities to close down a section of Highway 101 for five hours.
After nearly three hours of negotiating with a police crisis intervention team, Edward Joseph Kyle Van Tassel, 28, put down the gun and stepped away from it, Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte of the Santa Barbara police. Van Tassel was wearing a ski mask and camouflage fatigues during the standoff.
The Santa Barbara resident surrendered to police a little more than an hour later after authorities used a bomb squad robot to deliver a Barack Obama poster, which he hung up along with the flag on the highway fence.
Van Tassel is currently in custody in Santa Barbara.
When police recovered the revolver he was waving, they found it was unloaded, Duarte said.
Van Tassel is an Iraq veteran who served in the U.S. Army, and was unhappy about the war and the treatment of veterans, Duarte said.
Investigators this afternoon were still working to determine exactly what motivated his actions on the overpass, said the sergeant.
Van Tassel was spotted with a gun and a flag on the La Cumbre Road overpass in Santa Barbara shortly before 7:10 a.m.
After finding him with a gun in his hand, the California Highway Patrol closed Highway 101 from Las Positas Road to State Street.
The highway remained closed until about 12:15 p.m.