A suspected car thief who climbed up a 17-story loading crane to evade the police plummeted 160 feet to his death on Wednesday night, ending an hours-long standoff.
The man, who has not been identified, spent hours perched on the ledge of a loading crane over the Port of Los Angeles in California on Wednesday while crisis negotiators and a SWAT team tried to approach him.
He stripped off all his clothes and could be seen stretching, dancing, and doing handstands on the crane before he plunged to his death and landed on a ship below at around 9:20pm, KTLA reported.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene. It remains unclear whether he jumped or fell, police said.
The suspect led police on a chase at 3:10 p.m. in an SUV that was stolen from a San Bernardino car dealership. The car was taken without force and still had the tracking device in it, police told The Press-Enterprise.
But officers from three different departments lost sight of the white SUV as the man swerved through the freeway at speeds of 90 miles per hour.
When he arrived at the West Basin Container Terminal about 60 miles away, he got out of the car wearing a Lakers jersey with Kobe Bryant’s name on it and started scaling the tallest crane in the port
The standoff on the crane in the Port of LA has come to a tragic end…the suspect fell after dangling from a wire. pic.twitter.com/FJfosn2s35
— Desmond Shaw (@RoadSageLA) August 17, 2017
Crane operator Patrick Bates, who was leaving work when he passed the suspect, told KTLA: “I knew something bad was happening.”
“It was unbelievable, the height of that, it takes your breath away….He was up there doing things that I just could not believe,” Bates added.