Friday, May 06, 2005

Live-blogging (sorta) a suicide attempt from Mexico City - Updated

I am away from my computer but am taking notes. On live TV we have a pretty girl, about 25, lying on a wooden floor, red and white dress... no... wait, that's Hunter S. Thompson. We have a young man, about 20-something, standing on a rooftop of a 3 story apartment building, exactly on a corner, his back to the street below, with his heels hanging over the edge. A news helicopter is providing the video. I think this is in Mexico City.

He's got a sheaf of papers in his hands. I'm thinking Roger Simon with another rejected script. He's waving them around and shouting something to 3 or 4 rescuers who are on the roof and about 15 feet away from him.

Police, firefighters and neighbors are piling up cardboard boxes and mattresses on the street below. There is a small dog on the roof with him, looks like a cocker spaniel. The dog is excited and keeps running by the unfortunate youth and looks like the dog is going to cause him to lose his balance.

This should be over soon. There is enough stuff piled up under the guy that, even if he falls or jumps, he's not going to get hurt too badly. There are now about a dozen rescuers on the roof. The dog is gone. Someone must have grabbed it. The youth is haranguing the rescuers and waving this sheaf of papers at them ("It's as good as Citizen Kane! It's as good as Citizen Kane!). There are two firefighters under him trying to talk to him through a window directly below. Uh-oh, the guy is trying to move away from them and has moved about 3 feet to his right along the edge of the roof. I can't believe he hasn't lost his balance. Now he moves back, heels still hanging over the edge. The dog is back.

Now the group of rescuers is within 3 feet of him. One is wearing a white shirt and tie, possibly a priest. There is a firefighter to his right looking over the edge to check the preparations below. Got him! The fireman who was looking over the edge just took the bull by the horns. He was looking over the edge, probably decided that now was as good a time as any, and reached out and grabbed the guy by the waist and yanked him down from the roof's edge. He's buried under police and firemen. Now he is up and being handcuffed. Where is the poor dog?

Now he's being loaded into an ambulance and the local TV crew has a camera in the nose of the ambulance. We get a closeup of his face. No handcuffs, now. These people don't follow our safety rules. He is young. Maybe 20, maybe less, and still shouting and waving around those papers. I got a quick look at one page as it passed in front of a camera and it looked to be some kind of official document with a government seal, maybe. Well, possibly not a distraught screenwriter.

Damn! They flashed onscreen the name of the fireman who grabbed him and I didn't write it down. Jose something-or-other, I suppose.

Well, I hope that's all the excitement for today.

Update: The kid's name is Moises. He's 19 years old. He was released after being checked out by paramedics and administered oxygen in the ambulance. The papers that he had were an eviction notice from the city government. I think I heard that this was an eminent domain seizure. all of the cardboard boxes, mattresses, etc. in on the sidewalk below him were there because he and his family were in the process of being forcibly evicted from their home - a common occurrence down here (see Poletown, MI the same thing up there). I'll get more details as they become available.

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