HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK / Meredith) – SWAT officers arrested a man after climbing a construction crane in downtown Houston early Friday morning.
Houston police responded to a phone call of suspicious activity in Crawford and Rusk, across from the Marriott Hotel and Discovery Green, at around 3:08 a.m.
When the officers arrived, they learned that a man jumped over a site fence and climbed onto a crane that was at the intersection.
Police say the man climbed about 200 to 240 feet, about 15 stories, and was sitting in the driver’s cab.
According to HPD’s Commander Johnson, officials saw the suspect walking on the catwalk over the crane. As soon as he had access to the cabin, he could operate the controls and the crane moved.
Fortunately, construction workers were able to cut power to the crane and the suspect could no longer operate it, according to Johnson.
According to HPD, officials tried to contact the man. They say he had a radio with him but didn’t answer calls.
The video of the scene shows the man moving in the cabin.
“We believe drugs played a role. We’re not sure how much they played a role,” Johnson said.
Officers used a drone to get a better look at what was happening.
Shortly after 6 a.m., SWAT officers climbing onto the crane were able to contact the suspect.
It took about 45 minutes, but the officers were able to safely return to the ground and take the suspect into custody.
Police said the suspect followed SWAT officers when he was taken into custody but was concerned about the descent back to the ground.
The officers buckled him in a seat belt and allowed him to take breaks on the way down.
According to Johnson, the man is charged with trespassing.
“There are other possible charges related to narcotic possession pending, but we are still trying to determine the possession of those narcotic drugs,” said Johnson.
It is unclear why the man climbed onto the crane in the first place.
The green line of the METRORail was delayed while the scene was active.
By TJ Parker