HAZEL DELL, Washington — An Elma man with a decorative sword shut down the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 for about 5 minutes last night while responding officers approached what they thought was a man walking down the highway with a shotgun.
The State Patrol says it happened in the small southwest Washington community of Hazel Dell Monday night. The Columbian reports (http://is.gd/s63cin ) that a 911 caller apparently mistook the sword for a gun.
Troopers, Vancouver police and Clark County sheriff's officers rushed to the scene, turned on their spotlights and talked to the man over a loudspeaker with guns drawn. Trooper Will Finn says when officers are told someone has a weapon, "we approach as if someone is indeed carrying a weapon."
The 20-year-old man said he was headed home to Elma, Washington Police drove the man to a relative's house in nearby Vancouver and warned him that pedestrians aren't allowed on I-5.
The newspaper says the shutdown lasted about five minutes.