ORLANDO, Fla. – UPDATE: The man climbed down safely at about 7:30 p.m. Read more here.
Original story below:
Unfortunately, Orlando's CBS station became part of the news cycle Wednesday when a man climbed the WKMG 400-foot-tall TV tower. However, the way we are handling coverage of this incident takes into account the seriousness of the ongoing crisis negotiation, which is why News 6 is choosing not to livestream video.
Members of the Orlando Police Department crisis negotiation team are speaking to the man on a megaphone in an attempt to bring him safely down.
The intent of the person on the tower is unclear at this point. Orlando police said the man has a history of mental illness and they are in contact with his family. While other news outlets may choose to show live images of the tower, this is why News 6 will not.
To avoid impeding communication with the individual News 6 photographers are staying at a distance and the Sky 6 helicopter is 4 miles away and cannot be heard by the person on the tower. News 6 employees were asked to stay inside the station.
News 6 traffic safety expert and reserve FHP trooper Steve Montiero said it is important nothing distracts from the mediation.
"In most law enforcement situations, time is not on our side. In this case, we have nothing but time because the only goal is to get this man down safely and to the help he needs," Montiero said. "Showing live images increases the stress of everyone involved. Containment is the goal here."
The unknown person began climbing the tower around 11 a.m. and has remained at the top since noon.
North John Young Parkway is open but the road into the station is closed.
"We are hopeful that this situation ends safely for this gentleman, and we in no way want to impede the process that the crisis negotiation must go through to safely bring him down," WKMG News 6 director Allison McGinley said.
The safety of the Central Florida community is paramount.
There are many resources for people who are in need of counseling.
MENTAL HEALTH HELP:
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT FOR TEENS/ TEEN HELP IN CRISIS:
CRISIS HOTLINE TO HELP WITH A RANGE OF ISSUES, INCLUDING SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND CHILD ABUSE:
TEEN PRESSURES, PEER PRESSURE, FAMILY PRESSURES, SUICIDE: