A man having a “mental health crisis” climbed trees, negotiated rooftops in various states of undress and at one point even climbed across the street on a utility line Wednesday during a standoff with police in Washington, D.C., that lasted more than nine hours.
Police first responded to the Brightwood Park neighborhood of northwest D.C. at around 3:30 p.m. for a call of shots being fired, WRC-TV reported.
“Officers found a naked man, who eventually dressed, trying to swing on power lines and walking back and forth on porch roofs,” the news outlet reported.
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WTTG-TV said police described the man as “experiencing a mental health crisis.”
When police first arrived at the scene, they reported, a man who matched the description they had been given fled into an alley. Then he turned and fired a gun in the direction of the officers.
The neighborhood was barricaded off as police and firefighters gathered to help with the situation.
The suspect broke into a nearby house, according to the report. Then he broke through a skylight and climbed onto the roof of the porch. He then walked back and forth across the rooftops of the row-house porches, damaging windows, gutters and satellite dishes as he passed.
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At one point, the suspect “climbed across power lines from one side of the street to the other. He sat along tree branches and when police weren’t able to get him down, they inflated what appeared to be a giant moon bounce on the street below,” WTTG-TV reported.
At one point, the man broke a window and threw what appeared to be broken pieces of glass at the police officers below, WJLA reported.
For part of the time, as he was jumping on the porch rooftops, the man was naked, but eventually, he climbed back into a house and put his clothes on.
WJLA also reported that utility crews cut power to the lines the man was climbing on to prevent him from getting electrocuted.
A nearby daycare was put on alert during the standoff, WJLA reported.
“They were on lockdown, shelter in place for a couple of hours,” Jeff Goldberg, one of the daycare fathers, told WJLA. “Obviously, concerned about safety, their well-being, and for everybody in the neighborhood, but police certainly had it covered.”
Goldberg spoke with reporters after the children were released early in the evening.
“Obviously we’re very relieved to know all the kids were safe. They’re in my hands right now, and ready to go home,” Goldberg said.
The standoff ended around 1 a.m. Thursday when the man came down from a tree. He was arrested and taken to a hospital for an exam, according to WJLA.
Capt. John Terry of the Metropolitan Police Department told WUSA that the man, whose name was not released, will face a range of charges, including assault on a police officer, possession of a handgun without a license, indecent exposure and destruction of property.