Watch Out Below: Man Throws Items From 24th Floor of Houston Skyscraper [VIDEO]

A man was taken into custody by the Houston Police Department after he broke open a window on the 24th floor of the Chase Tower skyscraper and began throwing things out to the street below on Saturday, February 5, 2022. No one was injured and the man was taken into custody without incident after a SWAT team shut down the area around the building, police said. The unidentified man was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation and is not expected to face charges, according to police. You can watch video from the scene above.

The Houston Police Department tweeted that a SWAT team and hostage negotiators were responding to the 600 block of Travis Street on reports of a man “throwing objects from a broken window.” Although hostage negotiators were at the scene, police said no one was held hostage inside the building during the incident. The negotiators were able to talk to the man before he was taken into custody without incident. The man was taken into custody about noon, about three hours after the incident was first reported.

Police did not release the man’s name. Officials said at the scene that investigators would be talking to the building’s owners about whether they wanted charges to be filed against the man. But Click2Houston reports the man will not be charged. A search of Harris County court records by Heavy on Houston on February 8, 2022, did not show any cases that appeared to match the Chase Tower incident. Police had said at the scene that the man could possibly face charges of criminal mischief and criminal trespass. Heavy on Houston will update this report if more information emerges.

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Police Said the Man Barricaded Himself Inside an Office & Left Notes Saying He Was Suicidal & Wanted to Jump From the Building

Houston Police Tactical Operations Division Commander Megan Howard said at a press briefing that patrol officers from the HPD’s Downtown Division were flagged down by a citizen about 8 a.m. on Saturday and saw there was glass and debris in the 600 block of Travis Street. The officers also saw someone poking his head out of a window at the Chase Tower, according to Howard. She said the officers tried to locate where in the building he was and called in SWAT and negotiators because he was possibly a suicidal suspect. “They did all the things that needed to be done early on to figure out exactly what they had,” Howard said.

“We were able to cordon off the area. We appreciate the public’s patience with us blocking off traffic in the area and we were able to secure it that way no one would be hurt by falling debris,” Howard said. “Our negotiators came up with a plan and attempted to establish communications and we just very patiently approached this scene. Patrol did find during their initial response some notes that this person had written indicating he was suicidal and wanted to jump. So we had to proceed very cautiously because obviously, we did not want him to go forward with that. We were very patient with our operation, steadily tried to establish communications and eventually a few hours later the man finally came out of the office.”

Howard added, “It was a really good team effort, a lot of cooperation and coordination. We were able to get information from different people who knew this individual. There were a lot of challenges with communication because this individual is non-verbal. So we really used whatever we could think of to try to establish communication. We’re grateful for this outcome. There were times where he was out of the window leaning out, looking out, I believe people saw that. We had officers who were making observations from the outside. Based on his actions we were able to modulate our communications and I think ultimately that good team effort resulted in the outcome that we had.”

According to Howard, it was not immediately known how the man was able to access the office on the 24th floor of the skyscraper. She said she believes the building’s management is looking into how he got there and when. “It is a secured building that has turnstiles and it has security,” Howard said. “Not sure which door he would have used and I’m sure building management is going to work on figuring that out.” Howard said the man does not work at the building and they have no information that he has any direction connections to the office. She said the man is not from the area but he has family who is in the Houston area. “He does not live here in Houston,” the SWAT commander said.

Streets Around the Building Were Closed as a Precaution, Police Say

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No one was injured during the incident, but police shut down streets around the Chase Tower, including Travis Street, for several hours while the SWAT team and hostage negotiators dealt with the barricade situation. The roads were reopened about noon, after the man was taken into custody. Onlookers and media were kept a few blocks away from the scene by police. Video from an ABC13 photojournalist and from a Houston citizen showed debris falling from the open window.

In the ABC 13 video, which can be watched below, the man appears to be wearing a pink hat and holding sunglasses. He was also holding a yellow smiley face balloon and was wearing a pink face mask, the video shows. He was leaning out of the window precariously at times during the incident. The man was also holding onto window shades and pushing them out of the broken window.

Chase Tower is owned by Hines, a Houston-based real estate investment firm, and is the city’s tallest building. According to the Hines website, “Completed in 1982 and Houston’s tallest building, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Tower is a 75-story, 1.7 million-square-foot, five-sided office tower clad in pale gray polished granite. The development includes a 15,000-square-foot granite-paved pedestrian plaza at the entrance, a private sky lobby on the 60th floor and 22,237 square feet of retail space. The focal point of the plaza is a monumental sculpture by Joan Miró entitled “Personage and Birds.” The sculpture is the largest Miró sculpture ever commissioned.”

The building underwent renovations in 2019 after it was purchased by Hines and Cerebrus Capital Management, according to the Houston Business Journal. JPMorgan Chase returned to the building in 2021 and it was officially renamed as JPMorgan Chase & Co. Tower, according to the Houston Chronicle.

John Mooz, Hines’ senior managing director, told the Chronicle in January 2021, “The renaming of 600 Travis Street is an exciting milestone in our partnership with JPMorgan Chase. As one of the most iconic buildings in Houston, we are proud to bring back a name that is key part of our city’s history. Now, we look forward to completing our best-in-class transformation project which will modernize the building’s offerings and ensure a tenant experience commensurate with its status in Houston’s skyline.”

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