A Chicago man is in custody and undergoing medical treatment after a harrowing, 13-hour standoff with Chicago police as he dangled from the 16th story balcony of Chicago’s Trump Tower.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports the standoff, which began around 5:30 Sunday evening, “resolved peacefully” early Monday morning, and the man was pulled back up to the balcony, back on to a dining patio, and loaded into an ambulance. He was taken to a nearby hospital in good condition with no injuries, according to a Chicago Police spokesperson who kept the public apprised of the incident using social media.
“The man, who is in his 20s, began dangling from the tower’s 16th-floor balcony about 5:30 p.m., asking to speak to the president and trying to get his message to the media, according to Chicago Police spokesman Tom Ahern. Police officers at the scene said they believe the man used a climbing harness,” the Sun-Times noted. “The man has threatened to kill himself, Chicago police said. Negotiators spent hours on the deck trying to get the man down overnight.”
“Hostage negotiators spent hours on the tower’s observation deck trying to get the man down,” Yahoo News added Monday. “It remains unclear how he got on the side of the tower or why he demanded to speak to the president.”
The situation initially confused onlookers; a Batman movie has been filming in Chicago for several days, and many thought the incident, which shut down traffic on several major streets in Chicago’s central business district, was affiliated with the project.
“Police blocked off traffic on Upper Wacker around Trump Tower, which overlooks the Chicago River at 401 N. Wabash Ave,” the Sun-Times noted. “A crowd of onlookers gathered across from the tower, some wondering if it was part of a stunt for the upcoming Batman movie, which has been shooting in the city recently.”
Buses and other public transportation were rerouted around the Trump Tower, according to the Chicago Transit Authority. Those reroutes ended early Monday morning.
It’s not immediately clear what the man’s “message” was, as Yahoo News notes, but the New York Post reports, based on a video that began circulating on social media Sunday night, that the man is a self-proclaimed member of Black Lives Matter.
“Filmed while hanging from an orange rope — and at one point acknowledging he’s in Chicago — the man in the video identifies himself as a Black Lives Matter member with a message for Trump,” the outlet reported. “I don’t want to die,” the man adds. “I have a knife. If someone will try to pull [the rope], I will cut it, and I will probably die. But I don’t want to die.”
“If Mr. Trump, he promise (sic) something, he should do before the election,” the man went on.
Chicago’s Trump Tower is a magnet for anti-Trump demonstrations and is regularly targeted by protesters opposed to the president’s agenda. During a rash of riots earlier in the summer, the Chicago Police Department focused intently on protecting the tower, which houses both a hotel and long-term residences.
Just a day before the dangling incident, a branch of the Steelworkers Union used their “bat light” to project “Biden/Harris 2020” on the side of the Trump Tower, just above the “Trump” name, per The Hill.
President Donald Trump did not respond to the incident, nor is the White House expected to issue a statement.
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