SANTA MONICA – Police closed down access to Santa Monica Pier yesterday around 3:30 pm when an unidentified man climbed the Ferris wheel and claimed to have a bomb in his backpack.
Santa Monica Police quickly responded to the potential threat and evacuated the area around the pier and near Third Street Promenade. Communication with the perpetrator and Officers was difficult because of the ocean breeze and the media helicopters that quickly swarmed into the area to cover the breaking story.
One hour after the incident began, police were able to talk the man down to safety. According to the SMPD PIO, the man seemed to be in some sort of crisis. After officers made the arrest and confirmed there wasn’t a bomb in the backpack, the man was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation.
One Santa Monica citizen who was on his way to pick-up his children after school said, “The California Highway Patrol closed the 10 Freeway exit ramps near downtown Santa Monica, but they didn’t close access at Main Streets and Colorado. It seems like the perimeter should have been tighter the closer one got to the potential explosion. We dodged a bullet this time,” he said.