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Police negotiators persuade ‘agitated’ man holding knife to descend from Escondido rooftop

A man who police claim appeared to be under the influence of drugs was spotted on a roof in Escondido Thursday morning, where he yelled at police, drank from a puddle, ate drugs and held a knife between his teeth, authorities said.

He eventually agreed to come down and was taken safely into custody, Escondido police Sgt. Steve Braucht said.

Officers arrived at South Andreasen Drive near Auto Park Way, in a commercial area near Palomar Medical Center Escondido, shortly before 8 a.m.

“When the officers arrived, they saw the gentleman holding a knife and (he) appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance,” Braucht said.

The man was yelling, hitting himself in the head and saying he wanted to fight with the police, according to Braucht. The sergeant said it appeared that someone had thrown several large cinder blocks from the roof onto the street before the officers arrived.

Police negotiators spoke with the man for about 35 minutes, working to persuade him to come down on a ladder. While the negotiators talked to the man, he remained “agitated” and “was eating drugs and drinking from a puddle on the roof,” the sergeant said.

As the man climbed down, he held the knife in his mouth, Braucht added. Following commands from the officers, the man then threw the knife to the ground.

He was taken to a hospital for evaluation and then booked into county jail.

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