Update, 6:45 p.m. Wednesday: Amanda Dukes of WESH is reporting the man is climbing down is at the halfway point of the tower. She said they are not turning the camera on him, "as they don't know what will happen," but the base of the tower is clearly visible in the background.
Screenshot via Amanda Dukes/Twitter
Unnerving news from high above WKMG-TV today, as Orlando's local CBS affiliate is waiting while police attempt to talk a man safely down from their broadcast tower.
An unidentified man climbed the station's broadcast tower, located next to their studios on John Young Parkway, on Wednesday morning and has remained there through the afternoon, refusing to come down, while crisis negotiators attempt to communicate with him.
"Trooper Steve" Montiero, Channel 6's traffic anchor, first witnessed the man climbing the barbed-wire fencing around the tower. The man was reportedly in his 40s and may speak only Spanish. He was seen wearing gym clothes and a backpack.
Channel 6 reported the man is around the 300-foot height, while WESH-TV Channel 2 reported until he was at the 200-foot mark. Channel 6 says it is not live-streaming the event,
which WESH had initially been covering with a helicopter, out of concern for the man and "due to the unpredictability of the situation."
"The safety of our community, our employees and this gentleman are of paramount concern to us at WKMG," said Jeff Hoffman, vice president and general manager of WKMG-TV. "We are thankful for the Orlando Police Department and Orlando Fire Department's prompt response and hope this comes to a safe conclusion."
"Photographers are staying at a distance and the Sky 6 helicopter is 4 miles away and cannot be heard by the person on the tower," said WKMG. "News 6 employees were asked to stay inside the station."
"In most law enforcement situations, time is not on our side. In this case, we have nothing but time because the only goal is to get this man down safely and to the help he needs," Montiero said in the WKMG report. "Showing live images increases the stress of everyone involved. Containment is the goal here."
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