A Mill Valley personal trainer who fought with his wife while driving on the San Mateo Hayward Bridge last Friday and went over the edge into the Bay while allegedly trying to throw them both off was charged with attempted murder and domestic violence.
Xavier Jarrell McClinton, 47, appeared in court with his attorney but delayed a plea until Dec. 20 and remains in custody without bail. At Friday’s appearance, McClinton’s defense attorney is also expected to request bail be set although the prosecution opposes his release.
McClinton’s alleged actions Dec. 13 left his wife of eight years with a major facial gash and shut down afternoon bridge traffic first by crashing the car and then struggling to get them over the ledge. Bystanders grabbed his wife by the legs and kept her from dropping but McClinton fell about 15 feet into the water and had to be rescued. He was arrested after the U.S. Coast Guard and fire officials pulled him from the water.
McClinton, who has three children with his wife, had been acting strangely for about two weeks prior to the bridge incident, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
“This seems like something may have caused a psychiatric break,” Wagstaffe said. “According to the victim, up until two or so weeks ago he was living a normal life.”
He reportedly thought people were breaking into his home and trying to kill him although nobody was actually there. On Dec. 13, the wife was driving the couple through San Francisco but McClinton kept grabbing at the wheel which led her to pull over and change seats with him, Wagstaffe said.
McClinton drove them onto the Peninsula bridge and as they argued, McClinton tried driving the vehicle off the side but ended up crashing about 2:25 p.m., Wagstaffe said.
He then allegedly pulled his wife from the vehicle and tried to go over the bridge side with her until other people intervened.
All bridge lanes reopened shortly after 4 p.m. but traffic remained snarled for hours.
McClinton is a personal trainer known in the Marin community by the moniker “X,” according to a 2011 publicity announcement about how he overcame adversity to reach success and help children develop self-esteem.
Defense attorney Anthony Brass did not return a call for comment.
Foster City police are seeking witnesses to the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call 286-3300.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102