Man dies after bizarre chase, standoff at Port of LA

SAN PEDRO, Calif. (KABC) -- A stolen vehicle suspect led authorities on a bizarre chase that ended with him climbing a high crane at the Port of Los Angeles, staying up there for hours and then plummeting to his death.

The fall came after the man had been on top of the crane hundreds of feet in the air, dancing, rolling around and at one point removing his clothes.

After the hours-long standoff and bizarre behavior, the man fell from the crane. He died at the scene.

The chase started around 3:50 p.m. in the area of Mid-City by the westbound 91 Freeway. Authorities began a chase with the suspect, who they believed had stolen a white SUV.

At some point, authorities lost the vehicle on the 91 Freeway. He was spotted again around 5:40 p.m. and headed through Carson on the 405 Freeway.

The chase eventually ended up in Long Beach and then in the Wilmington area along the waterfront. After driving around erratically for several minutes, the suspect fled from the car, leaving it to roll away.

The suspect, donning a Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant jersey, climbed up several flights of stairs before breaking into a room through a window on the door and then quickly hopping back out.

The man was last seen wandering around the top of the crane-like structure, hundreds of feet above the ground.

Later in the evening, the suspect removed all of his clothing and did acrobatic movements on the 3-foot wide beam.

At one point, it appeared the man was going to fall as he tried shimmying over a support beam, but he was able to grab onto some nearby wires and pull himself over to the edge of a beam.

SWAT crisis negotiators arrived to the scene and tried to talk to the man, who again began doing acrobatic movements on the thin wires surrounding the beam.

Police say the SWAT officers were not near the man when he fell. It is not immediately known if he slipped or jumped, police said.

The man's identity has not been released, but he was described as in his 20s, with a criminal record.
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