Man on Rooftop Holds Springfield Police at Bay for 15 Hours Before Getting Tased

Nov 21, 2017 at 1:52 pm
Park Central Square in Springfield, Missouri. - Photo via Google Maps.
Photo via Google Maps.
Park Central Square in Springfield, Missouri.
The beginning of this week has been anything but ordinary in downtown Springfield, Missouri, where a man climbed to a rooftop yesterday and refused to come down until police tased him in the wee hours this morning.

Springfield police spokeswoman Lisa Cox said that police were originally called to check on the man at the downtown library Monday morning, according to the Springfield News-Leader. The man ran away when officers came. Cox said he then entered an unlocked loft apartment, climbed out a window and parked himself on the roof.

Police spent more than fifteen hours negotiating with the man from a nearby rooftop before announcing at 3:30 a.m. that the situation had been successfully resolved. The man was transported to the hospital for a 96-hour mental evaluation, according to the paper. Cox told the News-Leader that police talked the man closer to safety, then used a Taser to take him down.

The Springfield News-Leader says that the man stood on the northwest corner of the roof most of the day, occasionally yelling and pointing his middle finger in the air. At one point he pulled his pants down and mooned bystanders. He also smoked some cigarettes and took a water bottle that police threw to him.

Around 10 p.m., firefighters raised a ladder to the roof and attempted to talk the man into climbing down, but he moved to a different area of the roof. A number of roads around the square were closed during the standoff.

Naturally, the situation drew a number of spectators, with nearly 100 people watching at one point, as the Springfield News-Leader reports. About a dozen people gathered late Monday night, singing songs such as "Lean on Me" and holding signs with supportive messages such as "you are not alone."

"Crazy things happen, but I've never seen something like this," Brandon Hall, one of the spectators, told the Springfield News-Leader earlier in the day. "I didn't think it was gonna be this drastic."