Naked, armed billboard man has finally comes down to the ground. After nearly four hours of talks, city police managed to bring the man down from the top of a large billboard, according to multiple tabloid reports.
A naked Australian man armed with a handgun sparked a chaos Saturday after he paraded naked on a 10-metre high billboard at the intersection of Wellington and Barrack streets, bringing the entire city police unit on alert.
Police officials sealed off part of Perth's CBD, which caused disruption to city train services, and parts of Wellington, Barrack and Stirling streets were also closed to traffic and pedestrians as the gunman mounted billboard.
Naked, armed 'Billboard' man
The 38-year-old Perth man, who appeared to be in his 30s or 40s, took up position on top of the billboard near Perth's main train station some time before 2 p.m. (WST) Saturday, pacing up and down the billboard, reports ABC News.
The shaven headed man, naked and armed with a gun, had been yelling at onlookers, walking up and down and ranting.
The ‘billboard’ man, who is married with children, is undergoing mental health assessment in Royal Perth Hospital, WA Police Inspector John Lindley told Ninemsn.com.
Citing duty police commander inspector Neil Blair, PerthNow.com reported that negotiators were attending the scene.
“We have cordoned off one or two city blocks to all vehicles and pedestrian traffic we believe are just outside of firearm range now,” the local tabloid quoted Insp. Blair as telling reporters at the scene.
No demands, just ranting
When asked if the man had made any demands or if police knew why he was there, he said, “He is just ranting and raving at this stage”.
“It is not the actions of a rational person to be up there naked in the middle of Perth with what appears to be a handgun.”
According to the publication, the police spent four hours trying to talk the armed man down.
The PerthNow.com report says that the city police officials closed down several blocks of Wellington Street while three officers from the Police Tactical Response Group (TRG) kept the man under armed surveillance as negotiators tried to talk him down.
According to the publication, the TRG officers used a "cherrypicker'' crane to lift a police negotiator to the man and finally managed to safely bring the man down to the ground shortly after 6:00 p.m.
Initially it was not known whether the man was brandishing a genuine pistol or a replica, but later confirmed it was a genuine weapon.
Man being mentally assessed
The ‘billboard’ man, who is married with children, is undergoing mental health assessment in Royal Perth Hospital, WA Police Inspector John Lindley tells Ninemsn.com.
So far, no charges have been pressed against the man and police would await the health assessment before talking to him and taking any action against him, he said.
"The gentleman has a history and certainly he needs some assistance. His family are obviously very concerned about his welfare," Insp. Lindley said.
"That really is the number one priority for now, whether it be for the police or Mental Health, it's really to make sure that this man is back on track," he added.