Man on downtown roof top transported to hospital after three hour stand-off

By  | 

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - New information has been released by the Fairbanks Police Department regarding the man on the roof of the old court house building Monday afternoon. According to authorities, the man, whose identity is withheld, admitted himself into Fairbanks Memorial Hospital earlier Monday morning. He was in the emergency room shortly before he abruptly got up and ran towards the door pulling the fire alarm on his way out.

After leaving FMH, Fairbanks Fire Department responded to another fire alarm at 250 Cushman street, otherwise known as the old court house building. Upon arrival, a caller had notified authorities there was a man on the roof of the building who looked like he was attempting to jump. Deputy chief Dan Welborn talks about the protocol used in an event such as this.

"So, we had a subject on top of courthouse square here right behind me, and the subject was reported to be possibly suicidal, so of course our shift responded and we set a perimeter around the building, that's what we typically do in these kinds of incidents just to make sure that we maintain safety to the public," he said.

Officials were then able to get a visual on the man, who appeared to have some impairment, and looked to be unarmed. FPD swat and negotiators responded to the scene and began to speak with the man over a two and a half hour time frame.

"We attempted a dialogue with the subject, which meant we called down our negotiating team, and they were in the top of courthouse square, on the roof, actually talking to the subject, and they were making some ground, in that respect he was communicating with us. We also called out our swat team and they developed a tactical plan which is pretty common for these types of incidents, just in case we do have to move in," he said.

The man continued to move towards and away from the edge of the building and at one point began throwing metal flashing from the roof onto the ground below. After some time, a coordinated effort between the authorities utilized the Fairbanks Fire Department's platform truck in an attempt to convince the man to once again step away from the edge. Because the man appeared to be fatigued and cold, the presiding authorities offered him a blanket finally convincing him to surrender. In this case there was no need for any form of non–lethal munition.

"The subject at hand appeared to be having some kind of a mental breakdown, so in those cases, sometimes we do have to deploy less lethal resources, in this case we didn't because the communication did work," he said.

The man was then taken into protective custody without further incident. He was transported back to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital for further observation.