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Homeless Man Who Climbed 9-Story Construction Crane Near San Jose City Hall In Police Custody After 14-Hour Standoff

SAN JOSE (KCBS)-- An apparently homeless 39-year-old man who climbed atop an industrial crane near San Jose's City Hall descended on his own accord after holing up 14 hours and refusing to come down.

Police identified the man as Alam Skandar, a transient, according to police Sgt. Enrique Garcia. He was put in handcuffs by police, placed into a squad car and booked on trespassing charges, making for a peaceful end to the standoff, which began on Sunday.

Skandar started climbing down from the crane shortly after 10 a.m. Monday. The crane stood 90-feet above the ground. He had entered the construction equipment around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, according to police.

crane guy
Alam Skandar (San Jose Police Dept.)

Clad in shorts and a T-shirt, he was assumed to be sleeping inside the crane, Monday morning. Shortly after waking up, he climbed out and could be seen gesturing and heard talking on the crane's outer platform.

He had previously been shouting messages about homelessness and sharing with listeners the unhappiness he felt about his situation.

The San Jose Fire Department sent medical personnel to the scene in case the man fell or decided to jump.

San Jose Police Lt. Eduardo Pedreira said the man had refused to come down and that officers' strategy was to simply wait it out until he came to "reason" and exits on his own.

By Monday morning, only two police officers remained at the scene. Officers had re-opened the street even though the man hadn't yet come down. When he climbed outside of the cab, apparently not afraid of heights whatsoever, the streets below were once again closed.

"Officers initiated contact with the subject from the base of the crane. The subject is despondent, incoherent, and is refusing to climb down from the crane. He has admitted to have used drugs. As of this time, negotiations with the subject are on-going," Sergeant Enrique Garcia said Monday morning.

Skandar had stuffed cardboard, cushions and other material in the window of the crane, making it difficult to see inside.

Officials shut off the crane's power so it couldn't be operated.

John Moyer, president of Johnstone Moyer Inc., the San Mateo Contractor building the new apartment complex where all work had to be halted, said he was glad the man was in custody. Security measures will be reviewed at all the job sites in the wake of the break-in. He also confirmed the majority of the construction workers would not be paid for the lost day's work.

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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