HOLLYWOOD HILLS─A man threatened to jump off the Dolby Theatre prompting closures on Hollywood Boulevard Saturday, February 1.
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded at the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue at about 4:30 p.m. They discovered a man without a shirt in his 20s perched atop the scaffolding 30 feet above the Dolby Theatre. Officials deployed aerial ladders, ground ladders and air cushions to prevent the man from injuring himself and to get him to the ground safely. A second air cushion was deployed at 8:00 p.m.
During the negotiation, officials discovered that the man was not cooperative. Captain Scott Williams of the Los Angeles Police Department told reporters, “He’s been not very communicative with our negotiators. There is some indication that he may be suffering from some mental illness, but, nonetheless, we’re going to continue to negotiate with him.” Witnesses at the scene described the man’s behavior as “odd” as he evaded officers.
By 2:50 a.m. Saturday, officials convinced the man to come down from the scaffolding. He left only to return later. The man was finally taken into custody at 9:00 a.m.
It is unclear why the man climbed up the scaffolding and threatened to jump. Authorities announced that he will undergo mental evaluation. The results of the evaluation will determine if he will be arrested or not.
Surrounding streets were closed for up to 10 hours during the operation. Sidewalks were closed off to pedestrians. Only the Metro Red Line passed through the Hollywood and Highland station during the procedure.
The Dolby Theatre is the home of the Academy Awards which will be held on Sunday, February 9. The scaffolding the individual was perched on was designed for fans and media on the day of the event.