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Carjacking suspect jumps off freeway in Tempe, survives

PHOENIX — Tempe Police said a carjacking and robbery suspect may not survive after he jumped off a bridge early Friday morning to avoid capture.

Sgt. Michael Pooley said the suspect pretended to be a security guard and used a Taser to steal a car from a woman at Tempe Marketplace on Thursday night.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said the man, described as in his 50s or 60s, then robbed an adult bookstore in Mesa before disappearing again.

The car was seen Friday morning and the Department of Public Safety gave chase on westbound Loop 202. The chase, during which the suspect was driving more 100 mph, ended near the McClintock Drive ramp.

“The suspect immediately got out of the car, ran and jumped over the bridge and I don’t think he realized what he was jumping over,” Pooley said. “It’s about an eight-story drop” into a empty water-retention area, where it took crews an hour to get him out and on the way to the hospital.

Police closed the right three lanes Loop 202 west at McClintock, along with the ramp from Loop 101 Pima south to Loop 202 west.