Man hangs himself from top of construction crane in Atlanta after standoff - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Man hangs himself from top of construction crane in Atlanta after standoff

Updated:
ATLANTA (AP) _ A man who climbed a 200-foot construction crane and held police at bay for an entire day hanged himself early Friday after authorities and psychologists tried for hours to talk him down.

Michael D. Kelly, 23, edged his way to the side of the crane with a noose around his neck around 3 a.m. and hung by both arms for several seconds before falling, said Atlanta Deputy Police Chief C.B. Jackson.

He ``apparently had second thoughts'' and was struggling to climb back up when he fell 20 feet, Jackson said.

Kelly apparently scaled a fence and climbed the crane's long ladder early Thursday, said Steen Miles, a spokeswoman for Atlanta's transit system. A crane operator said he found the man around 6 a.m., when he climbed up to begin work.

The distraught man demanded the worker's cell phone and said he was an FBI agent watching the Gold Club, a nearby strip club at the center of a salacious federal racketeering trial. FBI agent Richard Kolko, who was at the scene, said there was no indication Kelly had ever been a bureau employee.

Kelly spent the day reading a Bible, scribbling and, at one point, dropping a blank check as psychologists tried via cell phone to talk him into coming down. He asked for another cell phone after his batteries ran out.

He dropped notes throughout the night, Jackson said. The notes were smeared with blood, leading police to believe he had hurt his hand.

A final note, dropped shortly before the hanging, read only: ``Anal drippings.'' Jackson called his notes ``completely irrational.''

Police said Kelly had made no demands and was not believed to be a danger to others as he waited out police in the crane's cockpit. Throughout the night, a police helicopter passed by Kelly and flashed a spotlight on him. The spotlight was not on him when he climbed to the edge.

Police said Kelly found the rope at the top of the crane. He was left dangling for almost 30 minutes before police could lift him back onto the platform.

``We thought he was coming down, and then all of a sudden he fell,'' said witness Tyrone Grusz.

Witness Johnny Wilson said he heard Kelly shout, ``Tell my mother I love her.''
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