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Suicidal Naked (and Defecating) Man on Cross Keeps Officials at Bay for 7 Hours*

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From 8 a.m. to around 3:15 p.m. yesterday, an unidentified nude twentysomething man, reported to be suicidal, sat 50 feet in the air atop the cross at West Bethel Presbyterian Church on La Brea Ave. between Wilshire and Olympic. He finally came down after a seven hour confrontation with the fire and police departments (including SWAT), who had placed an air cushion on the ground in case he fell and a ladder for him to climb down on, which he used.

Photographer Jonathan Alcorn got some interesting, to say the least, photos and David Markland at LA MetBlogs found a video of it on Youtube (watch it below the jump).

Last September in New York City, a naked man on a fire escape died after police tasered him. He fell 10 feet to the ground with nothing to catch him below. After it was announced that the taser use broke department rules, the officer who ordered the tasering killed himself and the officer who executed the action was promoted.

*Update: A witness told KTLA that the man told her he was "protesting against Christianity." He apparently climbed up clothed, but stripped and threw is clothes down. His only request during the standoff was a towel to wipe his hands clean after wiping his waste on the cross. An officer told the TV station that one of the crimes he would be arrested for was defacing a church, which is a felony.