Man who blocked traffic on Hoover Dam bridge wanted release of government report
The armed man who for more than an hour blocked a highway near the Hoover Dam with an armored truck and held a sign that said “Release the OIG report” is in an Arizona jail accused of several felonies, police said Saturday.
Matthew Phillip Wright, 30, of Henderson, Nevada, is accused of terrorist acts, unlawful flight from law enforcement, carrying a weapon in the commission of a felony and misconduct involving weapons. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of blocking a highway.
“Release the OIG report” apparently refers to the US Justice Department’s internal watchdog report on the department’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe. The 568-page report was released this week, leaving Wright’s message unclear.
Police said Wright had a rifle and handgun when he was taken into custody following a pursuit.
Authorities were called to the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge over the Colorado River just after noon on Friday when Wright allegedly parked across the southbound lanes. Both sides of US 93 were shut down for about 90 minutes.
At about 1 p.m. PT, Wright slowly drove into Arizona, running over spike strips about 5 miles in. Less than 4 miles later he turned down a dirt road and eventually stopped. The pursuit last about 35 minutes, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.
According to online jail records, Wright is being held without bail in the Mohave County Jail. It is unclear whether he has an attorney. Online records do not list one.
The Hoover Dam and the bridge are on the border between Arizona and Nevada.