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Man walking on downtown building surrenders

March 23, 2007
 

Thousands of downtown pedestrians gathered along Pennsylvania and Market streets, lined a nearby parking garage rooftop and stared through office windows about 10:30 a.m. today as a man threatened to jump from the top of the building on the northwest corner of Pennsylvania and Market.

He was described by police officers as a man in a vest—perhaps an employee of the Hilton Garden Inn hotel in the building. He also might have had a mustache, police officers on the scene said. Portions of Pennsylvania and Market and the eastern portion of Monument Circle were closed for more than an hour as officials attempted to talk the man down. Late this morning, he surrendered to police.

John Bishop, a plastics sales representative from Franklin, Tenn., said the crowd around Monument Circle was difficult to walk around. The crowd, he said, “sighed, moaned and gasped” as the man appeared on various sides of the building’s roof.

“It’s a little disconcerting,” Bishop said. “It’s not the sort of image you want for your city. But I don’t think this is characteristic of Indianapolis. The guy is probably just having a bad day.”

As disturbing as the thought of someone jumping to their death was to Bishop, the number of people who stood to watch the potential horror was just as troubling.

“It’s like some of those crazy things you see on the Internet,” he said. “You don’t really want to see it. Yet, here we stand, watching.”

The crowd began to disperse around 11:30 a.m., but portions of Pennsylvania and Market were still closed and heavy lunchtime traffic was being re-routed.

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