Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Shirtless Guy Climbs Electrical Tower, Only Comes Down When Offered Blanket

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

A half-naked man kept a North Hollywood neighborhood mesmerized after climbing a high-powered transmission tower and refusing to come down for several hours.

The unidentified man in his 40s climbed to the top of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power tower at Califa Street and Whitnall Highway around 4:20 p.m., KCAL reports. He seemed to be perfectly comfortable atop the tower, even stretching as if he were doing yoga at one point.

“It’s incredible. It’s nothing we’ve ever seen here before,” a woman told the news channel.

The incident prompted a turnout from several agencies, including the DWP, who had to reroute power from the tower, and the fire department, who set up an inflated rescue cushion below the tire.

Support for LAist comes from

The LAPD also sent out a SWAT team and put snipers in place to persuade him to climb back down. It's not clear if they would have actually shot the man, who was not threatening anyone and did not seem suicidal.

They offered him a warm shower, but the offer that finally got him to leave the tower after nearly four hours: SWAT officers approached the man via a cherry picker and gave him a blanket.

City News Service reports that the man was checked out by doctors and was being booked on a misdemeanor charge or trespassing. He was also arrested for suspicion of possession of stolen goods.

"I don't yet know why the man climbed up on the tower and took off his clothes," Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Ernest Fischer, watch commander at the North Hollywood Station, told CNS. He did not say what the stolen good were, only that
"the items were taken from a recent car burglary in the area."