Cliffhanger: Suspect in dangerous standoff with cops on Telegraph Hill 

UPDATE - 10:38 a.m. January 4, 2012: A San Francisco fire truck on scene at Telegraph Hill has been sent back to its station. Police remain on scene as the buglary suspect stays stashed in the hillside, refusing to come down.

Scroll down to see video from the scene.

The suspect appears to be able to move around comfortably, police say. He is situated in a relatively roomy patch of hillside.

The man does not appear to be in distress, says SFPD Cdr. Richard Correia. At any time the man wants to come down police will help him and a fire truck can respond in 3 minutes, Correia said.

Correia characterized the police activity as a rescue, not a manhunt, saying that the man is a suspect in a nonviolent crime.

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UPDATE - 9:50 a.m. January 4, 2012: San Francisco police and fire officials remain on scene both at the top of and bottom of Telegraph Hill on Wednesday morning as a burglary suspect remains perched in a bush.

The suspect appears to be closer to the bottom of the cliff, officers say.

A negotiator has been shouting in to the cliff telling the suspect that they would like to help him, but cannot if he will not let them.

"We keep revisiting the situation every hour to see the amount of resources we're willing to spend on this." Lt. Liam Frost says. If there are greater needs around The City police will respond accordingly, he said.

Crime scene investigators have dusted for fingerprints in an apartment that was burglarized at 1730 Telegraph Hill Tower. The suspect has not be identified and police have not given out a physical description.

At least two burglaries have occured in the area recently, says a neighbor who would only give the name Jack.

"It was dark, and he just jumped over the rail," Jack said.

After the burglary, the suspect apparently ran up the hill onto Lombard Street, hopped over the railing into a thick patch of shrubs, seemingly not knowing that a steep cliff was on the other side.

In September 2008, a man plunged to his death in the same neighborhood after leaping over a 3-foot wall while running from police.

The 38-year-old Daly City man fell 200 feet down a cliff at the end of Alta Street after being chased. The police responded in that case to calls of an auto break-in and spotted the suspect exiting an Audi.

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This police chase has been a real cliffhanger.

San Francisco cops continue an all-night standoff with a burglary suspect who refuses to come down from Telegraph Hill.

While running from cops Tuesday night, the suspect ended up trapped on a dangerous 200-foot cliff-side near Lombard Street, hidden behind thick brush, San Francisco police Officer Albie Esparza said.

At about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the manager of a nearby building called police about a suspicious man clutching some bags. He pointed the suspect out to cops. The suspect fled over a fence, apparently unaware that he would end up on a steep cliff-side. He hid behind “8-to10 feet of thick shrubbery” and refused to come out, Esparza said.

Police said it was too dangerous to pull him from the cliff.

“We offered to help,” Esparza said. “He was yelling at us to leave.”

San Francisco police have set up a perimeter and say he has no where to go.

A flood light shone on the hillside throughout the night. Police had assistance from the San Francisco Fire Department, which provided a truck and ladder, and a California Highway Patrol helicopter.

Cops last had contact with the suspect around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

maldax@sfexaminer.com


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