A man was taken into custody after he climbed a historic four-story Boyle Heights church, lit fire to a cross and began jumping from roof to roof Wednesday evening.
Los Angeles firefighters and police responded to St. Mary’s Catholic Church at 407 S. Chicago Street shortly before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. The flames on the cross at the top of the bell tower appeared to burn out without threatening the rest of the structure.
“LAFD is on scene with LAPD at a four story building with an adult male on the roof,” Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department said. “The person appears to be trying to light the building on fire.”
The man was shirtless, wearing only underwear and a single sock as he walked back and forth on the church’s roof.
He then started to jump from roof to roof as police attempted to apprehend him. Video from a witness shows the man apparently injuring himself when he landed and yelled in pain as he laid on the roof of a nearby home.
AIR7 HD captured the man dangling from power lines as he moved from home to home.
After coming down, he began to wander around the exterior of buildings in the neighborhood and dangled from wires.
Los Angeles police officers were able to take him into custody around 10:15 p.m. after he entered an apartment unit, which forced the family inside to flee.
Residents came out of their homes as the bizarre scene unfolded.
“He went across and he was trying to take off the cross in the front of the building, and he was trying to light it on fire, but since it wasn’t lighting on fire he just tried to leave and he almost slipped,” said Mariana Delarosa. “I think it’s crazy. I’ve never seen anything like this, and I’ve lived here my whole life.”
The man was transported to a hospital to be treated for his injuries.
The above comes from a July 8 story on Channel 7 (ABC) News in Los Angeles.