Police Negotiate with Man on Roof in Downtown Springfield

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Police have been negotiating with a man for more than four hours on the roof of a building in downtown Springfield.  

The man has been standing on the edge of a building on the south side of Park Central Square, above the Coffee Ethic, since a little before noon, according to witnesses. 

About a dozen police officers have responded to the scene, and at least two officers were seen on the roof communicating with the man throughout the afternoon.

Police spokeswoman Lisa Cox said she was unsure of the man’s intentions. 
Several roads in the area, including those around the square, have been blocked off as police respond to the situation. 

The man has been standing on the edge of the building and occasionally yelling at the people below and pointing his middle finger into the air. 

At times the man has run from one side of the building to the other and looked over the edge. 

An ambulance is stationed nearby. 

At 2 p.m., a lieutenant on scene said the man has not been cooperative with police. The lieutenant said he did not know what led up to the man going on the roof. 

Jeff Jones was among the hundred or so people on the square, watching the man on Monday afternoon.

Jones said he came downtown for lunch and saw the man up there. Jones ate lunch at a nearby restaurant, then came back to see the man was still on the roof.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Jones, a recent transplant from California. “One wrong move and it’s goodnight for you.” 

Brandon Hall was on the square with his 13-week-old puppy, Yeti. He said he lives downtown and said he got a call from his girlfriend earlier Monday.

“‘There’s this dude on the roof,'” his girlfriend told him, then sent a picture.

Hall decided he and Yeti would stop by and he couldn’t stop watching.

“Crazy things happen, but I’ve never seen something like this,” Hall said. “I didn’t think it was gonna be this drastic.”

The mood among onlookers was distressed at first, Hall said, but now it’s shifted to curious.

Still, Hall said, he hopes the man on the roof comes down without incident. 

An onlooker went up to a light pole and unplugged a power cord for a festive lights display so he could plug in his phone charger. The lights aren’t on, though, and his charger wouldn’t work.

Christmas music has been playing throughout the afternoon as the square is decorated for the season.

Just before 4 p.m., the man could be seen tucking his arms into his shirt to warm up.

The temperature in Springfield was about 60 degrees at 4 p.m., but it is expected to drop to about 40 degrees overnight.

Monday was also a windy day in Springfield, with gusts up to 30 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

Rea Cook was on her way home from work when police told her about she would have to find a different way home.

Cook lives in an apartment above the library, almost directly below where the man is standing. 

Cook said she can’t get to the roof from her apartment and isn’t sure how he got up there.

“I don’t have any idea,” she said. “It’s weird.”

Cook said there’s another way to get to her apartment from the opposite side of the building, but she might wait to go home instead.

(Story shared by Springfield News-Leader. Read the original article here.)

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