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Radio tower climbing incident in Thornton started with alleged car theft


DENVER (KDVR) — An incident on Friday where a man climbed a radio tower in Thornton and was rescued after over twelve hours started after an alleged car theft, according to police.

Around 7 a.m., Thornton PD responded to an area in the 4200 block of East 100th Avenue for a reported car theft. As police investigated, a male suspect returned to the scene in the stolen car.

That man, who police identified as 36-year-old Julian Fernandez, ran away on foot after officers attempted to contact him.

Shortly after, police said Fernandez was seen jumping a security fence and climbing up a radio tower west of Riverdale Road.

Police ordered him to stop, but eventually, Fernandez reached the top of the 320-foot tower.

Thornton PD’s Crisis Negotiation Unit came to the scene and began talking with Fernandez to try and safely resolve the situation.

After over twelve hours, the Thornton Fire Department, with help from multiple other agencies, was able to climb the tower and help Fernandez get down safely.

Fernandez was taken to an area hospital for an evaluation.

The investigation remained ongoing.

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