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After 3 hours, man climbs down from KTLA tower; Sunset Boulevard reopens

A stretch of Sunset Boulevard near Bronson Avenue reopened Wednesday after an hours-long standoff ended between authorities and a man who had climbed the iconic KTLA radio tower.

For nearly three hours, the man clutched the trestles of the 160-foot tower, located at the Sunset Bronson Studios just west of the 101 Freeway. At one point he rebuffed crisis negotiators and climbed upward.

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But shortly before 8 p.m., the man in a green sweatshirt and black cap safely returned to the ground, where he was taken into police custody for a mental evaluation, according to Los Angeles police Officer Ricardo Hernandez. His name was not released, but police said he is 55 years old and possibly homeless.

Sunset Boulevard was reopened about 8:30 p.m., police said.

Sunset Boulevard was shut down Wednesday evening as authorities responded to a man who had climbed the iconic KTLA radio tower and apparently refused to come down.

Authorities were first called to the scene about 4:45 p.m. The Los Angeles Fire Department assisted the LAPD in the incident, and witnesses reported that the LAFD had set up a cushion beneath the tower.

At one point, the man appeared to be calmly waiting and smoking a pipe or cigar while his left arm clutched the tower's metal cross-brace.

Shortly before 7 p.m., the ladders of two fire trucks were extended toward the tower, and crisis negotiators attempted to make contact with the man, who was wearing a green sweatshirt, white high-top shoes and a black hat.

But the man moved higher up the tower, ascending above KTLA's "5" logo and apparently thwarting police efforts to coax him down. The man continued climbing up the tower, with the Capitol Records building and the rest of the Hollywood skyline visible in the background.

The standoff took a turn about 7:30 p.m., when the man climbed down to the catwalk behind the KTLA sign, where police had left a cellphone and some water, KTLA-TV reported. The man later climbed down to the ground and appeared physically uninjured.

In 2011, a man who climbed KTLA's tower also prompted police to respond. That man also came down and was taken into police custody.

The KTLA tower was erected in 1925 and was one of two radio towers that served Warner Bros.' affiliated radio station, KFWB.

For more than 50 years, starting in 1955, the tower was located at the corner of Sunset and Van Ness Street. In 2014, the tower was dismantled and moved to its current location.

Times staff writer Francine Orr contributed to this report.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

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