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Man on Roof Shuts Down Stretch of Pico

By Olin Ericksen
Staff Writer

October 20 -- An eight-hour standoff that snarled traffic on Pico Boulevard ended Thursday when a man who climbed onto a rooftop was taken by authorities shortly before 2:30 p.m.

Scores of Santa Monica police and emergency personnel spent the morning and early afternoon trying to get the man to climb down from the rooftop of a Pico Boulevard building he scaled at the crack of dawn.

The man was finally brought down at 2:18 p.m. and taken on a "psychological hold" to a local hospital, police said.

During the standoff, police closed down Pico Boulevard between 29th and 31st streets, while firefighters extended a ladder to the roof in an effort to coax the man down as a crowd looked on.

It was unclear why the man was on the roof, police said.

"At 6:28 this morning, we received a report of a person on a building,” said Lt. Frank Fabrega, the police department spokesman. “When we responded to the scene, the man refused to come down."

Police said they did not know whether the man was trying to escape or whether he was suicidal.

The man is described by witnesses as an African American in his twenties with an athletic build.

"The cops seem to be trying to talk to him, at times he seems coherent, but not always," said Bruce Cameron, who was watching the standoff from his Pico Boulevard office.

"I couldn't get into my office this morning, and traffic has been tied up for hours now down here," he said.

Witnesses saw the man running west on Pico Boulevard, then climb some trees onto the roof where he remains, Cameron said.

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