Man in crane at Texas college says he's armed

A robbery suspect fleeing police climbed to the top of a construction crane on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Monday, May 28, 2012, threatening to shoot police. KTVT

Last Updated 10:55 p.m. ET

(CBS/AP) UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas - Police waited late into the night Monday for a man holed up in a crane cab on the Southern Methodist University campus to surrender and descend to earth.

The man spent a sweltering afternoon on the crane that towers over the campus in University Park, a posh north Dallas enclave, after he told officers he was armed and threatened to shoot anyone who approached him.

Special tactics officers from the Dallas Police Department were working with SMU campus police to manage the scene and try to talk the man down from the crane. No injuries had been reported.

Dallas police Senior Cpl. Melinda Gutierrez said campus police "did call us about a person who had climbed up into the crane who was possibly armed with a handgun. At this time, we are not confirming that he does have a handgun."

Watch a report of the incident, courtesy of CBS DFW, below:

The person on the crane had a radio, Gutierrez said, but she did not know if the person was communicating with police on the ground. She said police were attempting to establish radio contact. Gutierrez declined to say if police knew the man's identity.

The situation was first reported about 11:30 a.m. Monday.

"We were informed that an unidentified man climbed a crane at our residential commons construction site," SMU spokesman Brad Cheves said. "Fortunately, the campus is closed for the Memorial Day holiday. However, upon being informed that someone had gained access to the construction site, through our SMU police we immediately began to secure and cordon off the affected area."

No students were on campus, Cheves said, noting only "essential personnel and visitors" were on the grounds. He also added that a handful of swimmers in a pool near the crane were told to leave.

Kent Best, another SMU spokesman, said earlier that the man in the crane was a suspect fleeing from Dallas police. Gutierrez said she could not confirm that report.

Police blocked off parts of the campus and much of Mockingbird Lane on the south side of the SMU campus, as well as access to a strip mall near the crane. Observers on the ground could see signs of movement in the cab if they looked through binoculars or viewfinders of cameras.

The crane cab was fully exposed to the blazing Texas sun and temperatures were in the low 90s.

According to CBS Station KTVT Dallas, the man reportedy was ill in the crane, vomited, and tossed out his shoes and shirt.

Gutierrez said electricity to the crane had been cut, and she believed the radio in the cab was not affected.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.