Man arrested after climbing down Hialeah cellphone tower following 6-hour standoff

HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - A man who climbed to the top of a cellphone tower in Hialeah was taken into custody after a six-hour standoff with police.

Just before 3 p.m., Friday, the man began his descent from the tower without any safety equipment. About 15 minutes later he was inside the basket of a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue ladder truck, which lowered him to the ground alongside several firefighters.

He was then put on a stretcher and placed into the back of a waiting ambulance to be checked out and later transported.

“We want to first thank Miami-Dade County Police, Miami-Dade County Fire, Hialeah Fire, our officers, our members of our negotiation team that worked for hours speaking with this man to finally bring this to a peaceful resolution,” said Hialeah Police Sgt. Eddie Rodriguez.

Officials said the tower was near the man’s home.

The family of the man told 7News that he was was not well mentally, and they have no idea why he climbed the tower. They identified him as 58-year-old Pablo Torres,

Hialeah Police responded to the tower next to the Milander Center, near Palm Avenue and 45th Street, Friday, as Torres started his ascent, at around 10 in the morning.

Torres made it to the top of the tower just before noon, and lied down at the top.

Torres appeared to have some equipment, including a rope and something in a yellow bag. At times he was seen on the phone talking with crisis negotiators and his mother.

Family members on the ground said they were concerned for the man’s well-being. They said he was fine when they spoke to him in the morning, and he seemed OK.

However, at around 10 a.m., they went to the home where he lives with his mother, and he wasn’t there. Afterward, they got the call from police notifying them as to what was going on.

Police brought his mother to the scene in an attempt to talk him down. However, he only went higher.

Police began to move in to climb the tower about five minutes before 3 p.m. The man then began climbing down.

The area around the tower has been closed off. It is recommended that motorists avoid the scene.

Torres was arrested and charged with burglary and resisting an officer without violence after he was released from the hospital. He is being held on a $6,000 bond but is expected to bail out sometime on Saturday.

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