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Man's threat to jump closes street in city

June 23, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Part of a busy downtown Hagerstown street was closed for several minutes on Friday afternoon when a man reportedly threatened to jump off a building.

About 3:30 p.m., the man stood on a ledge above the fourth floor of 138 W. Washington St. and told a passer-by that he would jump.

The Hagerstown Police Department responded. Within a couple of minutes, the man turned around on the front ledge, with his back to the street. He climbed back over a facade and onto the roof of what is known as the Wareham Building.

An officer said at the scene that the man was taken to Washington County Hospital for an evaluation.

Hagerstown Police Department Sgt. Kevin Simmers said he and Officer Karen Hinchee went to the roof to encourage the man to come down with them, which he did.

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"He just had some personal problems," Simmers said.

Earlier, Charles Bennett said he was crossing West Washington Street when he heard the man yell to him, something like, "I'm gonna jump. I'm really depressed."

The man was sitting on the roof facade.

"I said, 'Just hang on. I'll get you some help,'" Bennett said.

He found a police officer near the Washington County Courthouse.

The man moved from the edge of the roof to the ledge below it, on the building's front face. He stood there for a few minutes as police cars arrived.

Police stopped all traffic on the block until they could reach the man.

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