The call came in at about 3:30 p.m. The man had broken into a construction site at 8th and Berendo streets and made his way 80 feet up, sitting on the edge of the crane.
"Very intense, very emotional. We saw the manager of the crane come by and say a gust of wind could knock him off, so that was intense," shared Melissa Tirado, who lives near the construction site.
A team from @LAFD and an @LAPDHQ negotiator have climbed up the crane in #Koreatown where a man has been sitting on the ledge for two hours. They will attempt to safely bring him down @ABC7 pic.twitter.com/7Kxv1SsIiZ— Josh Haskell (@abc7JoshHaskell) March 19, 2019
Los Angeles police closed surrounding streets and kept crowds back in order to not interfere with their operation. After the man had been up there for three hours, yelling he was going to jump, members of the SWAT team joined him up top, including a negotiator who spoke to the man in Spanish.
"From what I understand, he was depressed because he didn't have a job and he felt that he was alone," said witness Claudia Hernandez.
Eventually, the man slowly moved off the ledge and walked to meet police before getting in a harness to make the climb down. Those who live in the area say they were amazed at how the negotiator was able to calm the man down, making a connection with the man that they were both born in Guadalajara, Mexico.
#UPDATE Residents watch anxiously from Berendo street near 8th street in #koreatown as An #LAPD negotiator is talking to the man in spanish, we can faintly hear the conversation from the ground. The man is speaking with the negotiator, but hasn’t moved @ABC7 pic.twitter.com/lNXznaioBM— Josh Haskell (@abc7JoshHaskell) March 19, 2019
"They said they were going to help him," Hernandez recalled. "He said he didn't want to go to jail. They said they weren't going to take him to jail, they were going to help him, they were going to talk to him, he was going to help him find a job. So hopefully he gets the help that he needs."
Authorities are investigating how the man was able to get past security and all the way up the crane.