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Police safely subdue man on roof

  • ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Walking back and forth drinking beer, a Lansford man, wanted for parole violations, stages himself on top of the old Silver building in Lansford. He was eventually taken into custody with use of a bean bag projectile.
    ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Walking back and forth drinking beer, a Lansford man, wanted for parole violations, stages himself on top of the old Silver building in Lansford. He was eventually taken into custody with use of a bean bag projectile.
Published April 19. 2013 05:04PM

The first block of East Patterson Street (US209) in Lansford was closed for three hours Thursday after a Lansford man staged himself on top of the old Silver building.

Around noon yesterday, Lansford Police received a tip about a man pacing back and forth on top of a downtown roof, drinking what appeared to be cans of beer. Upon arrival, Officer Josh Tom recognized the man as someone who had eluded them earlier in the day.

"He had been playing hide and seek with us most of the morning," said Lansford Police Chief John Turcmanovich. "The man suffers from a mental condition and was wanted by police for parole violations.

"The man went up there on his own," added Turcmanovich.

During the incident, police chose to close and limit foot traffic to both Patterson Street and Ridge Street to prevent a disturbance and keep the man calm.

Police also fed the man as part of their negotiations. Despite negotiations and intermittent rain, the man remained on the roof.

He was eventually arrested around 3 p.m. after a special operations unit from Salisbury Township, working with Lanford Police, used a bean bag gun to safely subdue him.

Witnesses on the ground said they saw the man jump from one rooftop to the other before being subdued, adding that the apprehension happened in less than a few seconds.

Lansford Police stated that the man was taken to St. Luke's Hospital in Coaldale for medical and mental evaluation. He was later turned over to Schuylkill County probation.

Turcmanovich, praising good cooperation between all responding officers, said that nobody was hurt and all the officers were unharmed. He added that the man's hand injury was from a nonrelated incident earlier in the day.

Assisting Lansford and Salisbury Police on scene were officers from Coaldale, Summit Hill, as well as Lansford firefighters and ambulance crews.

Lansford and Summit Hill fire police volunteers, standing in the rain, detoured traffic for the duration of the incident.

(Because of his mental health history, The TIMES NEWS is not publishing the man's name.)

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