Deaf man hurled roof tiles in Collier Row suicide threat
�A man warned he would throw himself from the roof of a building in Collier Row and hurled tiles into a busy road below as part of rush-hour suicide threat.
The bespectacled and hooded 40-year-old, who is believed to be deaf, clung to a chimney stack on homes above the post office, in Collier Row Road, while throwing tiles to the ground, where emergency crews and passers-by were watching.
Police cordoned off one lane of the busy street at around 5pm on Tuesday as a negotiator used sign language to reason with the man.
Self-employed Chris Smith, who was watching from a lower-storey window, said: “My heart went out to the guy; he was obviously in a very bad way.
“He was running backwards and forwards along the roof and looked like he might jump at any stage.”
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The 33-year-old added: “There was someone using sign language at the front and the back of the building.
Gave himself up
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“There were a lot of people watching and some from the nearby pub thought it was hilarious and were telling him he should jump, but most people were upset for the guy.”
The man finally gave himself up to a person, who is believed to have been a friend at about 8pm – after some three hours of drama.
“He read something on his mobile phone and then [the emergency crews] had two or three ladders up on the roof and his friend got him down.
“I think everybody was relieved it was all over.”
Five police cars, three ambulances and a fire truck attended the incident, which caused long traffic tailbacks.
A police spokesman said: “There was no suggestion the male was trying to deliberately target individuals [with tiles]. He was released into the care of his family and his medical support.”