Tuesday, June 28, 2011
'Rapper' Climbs Pole In Times Square
Man stands and raps to police before surrendering
NYPD officers spent two hours attempting to get an apparent aspiring rapper down from a light post in Times Square before he surrendered at about 11:15 a.m.
The scene unfolded about 18 feet above 7th Ave. and 44th St at 9 a.m.
The man, identified as Raymond Velasquez, 34, of Brooklyn, climbed the pole across from the MTV studios. He reportedly wanted to try to promote his CDs.
Police ended up having to closed off 44th and 45th Streets and a full block of 7th Ave. An NYPD emergency services van pulled up to the pole. About a half-dozen officers climbed onto the top of the van, just below Velasquez.
Officers then roped off the area with yellow crime tape and an ambulance was standing by on the scene. Hundreds of people gathered across the street to watch the spectacle.
Rescue personnel inflated a cushioning device around the pole to break his fall if he came loose from his perch.
At one point, they raised a ladder towards Velasquez, but he stood up and raised his arms over his head. The officers quickly removed the ladder. He remained standing and appeared to be rapping and dancing on the pole.
A short time later, he sat back down and they put the ladder back onto the pole.
Velasquez, wearing shorts, a dark baseball cap and a red shirt, eventually decided to come down the ladder. He was quickly taken into custody and put in the ambulance to head for a mental evaluation.
The pole was just below another pole that holds an NYPD security camera.