Weekly Feature



2013-08-15 / Front Page

Evaluation continuing for man who jumped from building

by JULIE HALM Editor


Lancaster Volunteer Ambulatory Corps ambulance leaves the scene with 36-year-old Thomas Bailey after a three and half hour standoff which concluded with Bailey jumping off of the roof of the new Orville's that is being built at William Street and Transit Road in Lancaster. 
Photo by Daniel Rosati. Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Lancaster Volunteer Ambulatory Corps ambulance leaves the scene with 36-year-old Thomas Bailey after a three and half hour standoff which concluded with Bailey jumping off of the roof of the new Orville's that is being built at William Street and Transit Road in Lancaster. Photo by Daniel Rosati. Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com No charges have been filed against a man who jumped off the roof of a building last week.

According to Chief Gerald Gill of the Lancaster Police Department, Thomas Bailey, 36, had contacted his family prior to the Aug. 7 incident, and it was a phone call from a person Bailey had been speaking to that alerted authorities to the situation.

“Around 9:20 [p.m.], we received a call that he was reaching out to members of his family, and we responded and secured the perimeter,” Gill said.

Bailey was on top of Orville’s, which is under construction at the corner of Transit Road and William Street, during the standoff and was claiming to have a gun, Gill said. According to the chief, Bailey was both verbally claiming to have a gun and text messaging people the police were in contact with, claiming to have a firearm. His claims, police later found out, were untrue.

Gill said authorities had made contact directly with Bailey via cellphone, but when his battery apparently died, police lost contact and he jumped off the roof.

Bailey was transported to Erie County Medical Center, and on the followingmorninghisinjurieswere not considered life threatening.

As of Tuesday evening, Gill said authorities are still awaiting a continued evaluation of the man. No charges have been filed as yet, and according to the chief, it is difficult to say what they could be, although he said a trespassing charge would be likely.

The chief said a number of trained negotiators had been on the scene who are skilled in dealing with situations involving mental health issues.

While processing was still going on at the scene, Gill said it appeared that Bailey had not been armed. Despite the situation, the chief said that at no point were authorities planning to use deadly force.

“We were working with him and establishing communication and he was talking to us, and that, in this context, is always a good sign,” he said.

Gill estimated that five agencies responded to the incident and said that while the end result was not desired, authorities had acted in accordance with instruction.

“It went according to what we are instructed and what our negotiators are taught, and I cannot explain why he jumped,” Gill said.

email: julieh@beenews.com

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