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Stabbing puts Golden Gate Bridge in the news — again

The iconic Golden Gate Bridge was in the news over the weekend, not once but twice.
First the bad news: southbound motorists will have to pay an additional quarter to cross the span starting July 1, pushing the toll up to eight bucks.
Now the even worse news: police arrested a Lodi man on Saturday after he allegedly stabbed another guy in the face while they were driving over the bridge the night before.
Jose Plancarterueda, 21, was booked into Marin County Jail on charges of attempted murder, mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon. According to a report in our sister paper, the Marin Independent Journal, that mayhem count refers to alleged dismemberment or disfigurement.
Weird, right? But the Golden Gate span is no stranger to strange happenings. We dug around and came up with a few memorable ones:
Does the name “Richard Ramirez” ring any bells?
The year was 1985. It was summer. And Californians were freaking out  about the serial killer and rapist known as the Night Stalker. Ramirez was eventually caught and convicted of 13 murders, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries. He died in 2013 of natural causes, just the up the road from the bridge at Marin General Hospital.
But in 1985, at the height of the Night Stalker reign of terror, the Satan-worshipping Ramirez was reportedly standing mid-span on the Golden Gate Bridge, dumping into the abyss below a pair of sneakers that reportedly could have helped identify him before he continued on with his killing spree.
How about “Al Zampa”
Alfred Zampa was one of the Bay Area’s most iconic bridge workers, not only because he worked on several local spans but because he was one of the first people to survive falling off the Golden Gate Bridge. That, of course, made him a charter member of the Half Way to Hell Club, the awkwardly named fraternity of folks who fell from the span during its construction in 1936 and 1937 and were were saved by safety nets installed for such an occasion. Zampa was presumably the last living member of the 19-man group when he died in 2000.
Death is practically the span’s middle name
Known as one of the world’s most popular suicide platforms, the Golden Gate Bridge saw its first tragedy three months after it opened for business. In August 1937, a man named H.B. Wobber strolled the span alongside a tourist he had just met. Wobber turned to the stranger and said, “This is where I get off. I’m going to jump.” The tourist tried to stop him, but Wobber was too quick. He threw himself over the side and in a matter of seconds he had hit the water, becoming the first of more than 1,600 people to commit suicide by jumping from the bridge, according to the Bridge Rail Foundation, an organization dedicated to stopping suicides from the bridge.
Here’s a near-death experience with a happy ending
Golden Gate Bridge traffic, of course, is a nightmarish prospect most days with a gazillion residents and tourist trying to squeeze into the city or get the hell out of it all at the same time. Sometimes, like that day back in September 2005, the gridlock isn’t caused by humans. That time, it was an ostrich.
Local news reports described how the bird had escaped from his owner, a local farmer named Ronald Love who had rescued the thing from a butcher and was bringing her home to lay eggs. En route, Love hit the gas pedal too hard and and sent the ostrich smashing through the rear window of his van. After stopping traffic on the bridge for a spell, she was surrounded by police officers and helpful motorists who apprehended the full-feathered scofflaw, allowing traffic to resume. The 6-foot bird sustained only minor road rash, and Love was relieved, telling reporters: “Strange things always seem to happen with ostriches.”
Shake, rattle and roll
The Golden Gate Bridge is a scary place to be standing when an earthquake rattles the area. The first quake to hit the span was in 1935, before the thing was even finished. Curbed SF reports that the construction elevator broke, leaving a dozen workers stuck on one of the main towers while it swayed.
A deadly project in its own right
Eleven men died during the bridge’s four-plus year construction, says Curbed SF, 10 of them from a single accident in which a collapsed scaffold fell through the safety net below. In that same accident, one worker managed to jump to safety while two others fell into the bay but, miraculously, survived. More workers would surely have perished had it not been for the $130,000 safety net, which saved at last 19 lives. Related Articles





Murder attempt alleged on Golden Gate Bridge




A dastardly deed on the Golden Gate
One day in early 2016, two pedestrians were reportedly struck by blow darts while walking across the span, according to the California High Patrol. Local news reports said a CHP officer who was patrolling the bridge on bicycle was flagged down by a man who had been hit in the thigh. The five-inch-long dart had apparently been fired by a blow gun and had pierced the man’s skin. As paramedics helped the man, a woman walked up and said she, too, had been hit by a dart, this time in the knee.
Finally, don’t try this at home . . . 
From YouTube in 2014, compliments of Stanley Roberts, host of KRON 4’s “People Behaving Badly” show:

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