This is no Olympic sport. Here in Vancouver from midnight to 2:45am this Saturday morning, a man high up on a construction crane was threatening to jump off. The crane is located right next to the Olympic cauldren and the main media center.
He started to cliimb up the structure soon after 11:30pm friday night according to one eyewitness. He climbed out to the tip of the crane and then proceeded to take off most of his clothes except his pants. he threw the clothes down to the ground.
According to the eyewitness, the man's friends were yelling at him with a megaphone - yelling in either mandarin or cantonese. They were calling him Reggie.
More than eight police officers and firemen climbed up the structured and secured him at about 3am Vancouver time.
I interviewed the commander on the scene -- Inspector Cumberworth of the Vancouver Police Dept. He would not give many details but did confirm that the incident was over at about 3am. I also interviewed Captain Sullivan of the Fire Department who was on the scene. He confirmed that a mix of police and fire special emergency response teams climbed the structure.
The incident raises the question -- how could yet another security breach occur? What if this were someone intending to cause harm at a very senstive location who went up the crane and waited till morning?
Examination of the construction site reveals that there is very little in the way of security. The fence is low and easily surmountable. There is a guard booth at the entrance to the construction site. I interviewed a guard who later went into that booth. He told me he was doing his security rounds and then was informed by police at about midnight that someone had enterered the site and climbed the crane. The security guard corraborated the account of the other eyewitness that the man had shed most of his clothing and that the police and others were attempting to communicate with him.
The crane has built-in ladders which allow fairly easy access to the top. The boom has a walkway which, although narrow, can be traversed without special equipement.