Update 1:45 p.m.:
A man who identified himself only as “Mike” who lives in Palmdale was helping his friends in the Canyon Crest complex when he noticed the man sitting on top of the pole and realized something was wrong.
“I didn’t think he worked for Edison,” he said. “So I called 9-1-1.”
He said that the man began tightening his shirt into a rope while deputies were talking to him in Spanish and that his attitude began to change. He was touching wires, but because he appeared to be grounded, didn’t get shocked.
When he found a place to loop the shirt around two ceramic insulators atop the pole, he tied the shirt and rolled off the pole.
“It’a sad so see someone kill themselves right in front of my eyes,” he added. “I don’t know what was wrong with him, but it must have been bad. The cops were shocked.”
Photo by Elliott Cohen
Update 1:32 p.m.:
Homicide detectives and Edison personnel are on the scene of a suicide in Newhall; they are awaiting the arrival of the Coroner’s office staff before they can remove the body.
A man climbed high above the street on a utility pole behind a strip mall in Newhall and hung himself in front of shocked neighbors and first responders.
According to Sgt. Richard Nagler of the Santa Clarita Valley station, several calls came in to the station around 11:30 a.m. reporting the man had climbed up the pole near Newhall Avenue and Valle del Oro Drive. Deputies found the man at the top of the pole within the Canyon Crest Apartment complex at Newhall and Canyon Crest Drive, across the street from Valle del Oro.
After both sheriff’s and fire officials were on the scene, the man removed his T-shirt, quickly fashioned a noose and dropped from the top of the pole.
The man, described only as a male Hispanic adult, did not indicate that he was intending to hang himself. Nagler said that deputies on the scene were under the impression that he was going to jump from the pole or grab live wires.
Deputies are waiting for detectives from homicide and Coroner’s officer personnel before the body can be removed. Edison officials will have to cut power to the affected pole for fire personnel to have safe access.