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Man who dangled from Trump Tower for more than 13 hours is pulled to safety by cops who 'literally saved this young man's life'

By Paige Fry and Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Political News

CHICAGO - Chicago police said Monday morning they had "resolved peacefully" a standoff at Trump Tower more than 13 hours after a man suspended himself with a rope and harness from the 16th-floor landing of the downtown high-rise.

"Situation resolved peacefully by negotiators," tweeted police spokesman Tom Ahern. "Suspect in custody. No injuries."

A police SWAT unit and the Chicago Fire Department had responded to a call of a man threatening to kill himself at the Trump International Hotel & Tower, 401 N. Wabash Ave. in the Near North neighborhood, around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, according to police. Ahern said the man rapelled down the outside of the building; he was seen hanging by a rope several feet below the ledge to the right of the large "Trump" sign on the building.

Police negotiators talked to the man from a balcony on the building, their voices reaching the man not far from the ledge, Ahern said. The man did not live in the building and it was unclear how he got inside the building and that remains under investigation, he said.

Cmdr. Patty Casey, who heads the youth investigations unit, said a Russian interpreter was called to the building and employees at the building also aided in the peaceful outcome. In a media briefing after the conclusion of the call, she hailed crisis negotiators, including Detective Hector Matias, who was on scene nearly 14 hours after spending some 17 hours at a different call over the weekend.

Sally Bown, a police spokeswoman, said she didn't have enough information to provide information on the 17-hour standoff.

 

"They were patient and kind and spent hours dealing with this distraught man who was in an apparent crisis, saying he had many social issues that he wanted to discuss with reporters," Casey said. She and Ahern did not immediately explain what the "social issues" were.

"It was really a team effort. What could've been a tragedy ended up as a situation that was resolved without incident. Today, the Chicago Police Department and their partners literally saved this young man's life," she said.

Matias said it's not uncommon for outsiders to question why these kinds of calls can take so long to resolve peacefully.

"It was something that we train for. It's something that we're very used to. It's very challenging and sometimes when someone is looking at it from the outside they think, 'wow, why does it take so long?'" Matias said. "There's different tactics in our toolbox that we utilize and I think today we probably utilized every single one."

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