Sunday, June 14, 2015
Cornered, Petty Theft Suspect Threatens to Jump Headfirst From Balcony Into Concrete Below
Photo: Deputy Dan Paige of the Altadena Sheriff’s Station
[UPDATED] Altadena Station Sheriff’s deputies responding to a possible petty theft in the 2200 block of Lake Avenue about 10:24 a.m. Sunday morning found themselves in a dangerously escalating situation as the suspect sat on a building ledge and threatened to jump headfirst in the concrete below.
Authorities said the 30-year-old suspect had fled the scene of the alleged theft and used an exterior staircase to get out onto a second story balcony in the 800 block of East Mendocino Street.
The man sat precariously near the edge as deputies tried to communicate with him.
Authorities said it became evident quickly that the suspect “was under the influence, mentally unstable, and threatening to jump headfirst onto the cement below.”
A command post was established. Los Angeles County Fire crews responded and the Mental Evaluation Team and Crisis Negotiation Team was requested.
While on a training exercise the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team heard the call for additional deputies. Members of the rescue team responded and assisted in the containment of the area and set up safety rope system for members of the Crisis Negotiation Team, who were in close proximity of the ledge.
Finally at about 2:40 p.m. the suspect surrendered to awaiting deputies. He was transported to Olive View Medical Center for a mental evaluation.
The victim of the original theft — a cabbie who had not been paid his fare — decided not to press charges, authorities said.
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