New York police talk down man who threatened to jump off building

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 16, 2014 3:42 PM

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City police persuaded a man perched on the ledge of a building near Times Square to step back, after his threat to jump led to traffic being closed for nearly two hours on Thursday afternoon, officials said.

The man, who was not identified, had sat down at the edge of the building overlooking the Madame Tussauds wax museum and other popular establishments, on 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, a spokesman with the New York City Police Department said. The structure houses businesses that include a hotel and restaurant.

The man, who was in his 30s, was taken into custody unharmed and transported to a hospital for psychological evaluation, police said. He is not currently facing charges.

Calls began to roll in at 2:45 p.m. about a person sitting on the ledge of a terrace outside a middle floor of the 11-story building near Times Square, one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city.

The roadway and sidewalks outside, normally buzzing with vehicles and pedestrians, were closed to traffic shortly afterwards, police said.

While the man was on the ledge, about a half-dozen emergency vehicles were parked on the street below and a giant safety cushion was inflated on the ground directly underneath him.

About a dozen police, including hostage negotiators, could be seen standing near him as he sat at the edge of the building, slouched with his hands crossed in front of him.

(Editing by Scott Malone, Sandra Maler and Eric Walsh)