Man commandeers construction crane

Saturday, May 31, 2003

LOS ANGELES -- A man seized control of a construction crane towering above downtown for more than eight hours, rotating the cab and throwing objects at rescue teams before finally surrendering early Friday, authorities said.

Kevin Donaldson, 43, was arrested about 4 a.m. after he peacefully climbed down from the cab. Police said he will likely face vandalism charges.

A caller reported seeing Donaldson in the crane at a construction site about a block from City Hall at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, fire department spokesman Jim Wells said. As police officers and firefighters arrived, the man began hurling objects down to the ground at them, Wells said.

The crane is on the site of what is to be a new state Department of Transportation building.

Police said Donaldson told them he used to be crane operator in Montana before moving to Los Angeles. Before authorities cut power to the crane, he dropped its hook and rotated its cab for a time.

Negotiators were eventually able to talk Donaldson down. He told police that he hadn't seen his children in seven years and that he wanted to kill himself.

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