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Santa Monica Pier evacuated after man scales Ferris wheel

The Santa Monica Police Department evacuated Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier Monday afternoon after a man claiming to have a bomb scaled the iconic Ferris wheel. 

The incident began around 3 p.m., when witnesses heard the man allegedly make comments about being in possession of a bomb.

At some point, the man scaled the famous Ferris wheel and refused to come down.

A crisis negotiation team was called to the scene and was in contact with the man in hopes of getting him to surrender.

After about an hour of talking with the man, he began working his way down the structure, where he was quickly apprehended by police just before 4:30 p.m.

Police evacuated the Santa Monica Pier after a man scaled the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park on Oct. 9, 2023. (KTLA)

Throughout the incident, the man was seen holding a backpack, but police apparently were not concerned about the possibility of him actually having explosives. Police later confirmed he was not in possession of any explosive devices.

Police told KTLA that the man appeared to be suffering from some type of mental health crisis and at this point they don’t believe a crime has been committed.

Video from Sky5 showed officers blocking off the entrance to the pier and escorting civilians out of Pacific Park.

Firefighters could be seen using a lift to reach multiple people who were stranded on the Ferris wheel, but it did not appear that any were removed from the ride.

Instead, they waited for the situation to resolve itself before engaging the Ferris wheel to allow riders off. Officials said they were unable to start the Ferris wheel while the man was hanging onto it due to concerns about his safety.

Police evacuated the Santa Monica Pier after a man scaled the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park on Oct. 9, 2023. (KTLA)
Police evacuated the Santa Monica Pier after a man scaled the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park on Oct. 9, 2023. (KTLA)

By 4:30 p.m., shortly after the man surrendered, the Ferris wheel started moving again and firefighters began removing riders from it.

At this time there have been no reports of any injuries. Police continued to urge people to avoid the pier, and said additional information would be released later in the evening.

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