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Police talk man down from third-story ledge

Tue., July 10, 2007

North Spokane traffic was slowed for nearly three hours Monday near Monroe Street and Northwest Boulevard/Indiana Avenue while Spokane police talked a man down from his perch on top of a hardware store and apartment building.

The man, Mark Duane Hicks, 43, was taken to a hospital for treatment of dehydration and a mental health evaluation.

Police arrested him on second-degree assault charges related to domestic violence, according to Spokane Police Cpl. Tom Lee.

Hicks sat on the northeast corner of the roof with his legs dangling over the side of the three-story building for more than two hours in the incident that began about noon.

He lived in the building with his girlfriend, who Lee said had been assaulted on Saturday.

She was seriously injured and unable to report the crime to police until Monday.

When Hicks saw police arriving in the area Monday, he assumed it was because of him.

That’s when he ran onto the roof and called 911, threatening to jump.

Police, fire and rescue crews were on scene to try to talk Hicks down and help if he jumped or fell.

Two firefighters watched from the raised ladder of one of their trucks about a block away.

At times gawkers lined the streets watching Hicks as he shifted his position or took a drink from a water bottle.

After negotiations with officers, Hicks went inside and was arrested.

“This was a very successful outcome because no one got hurt,” Lee said.

Lee said about 30 police officers responded, including several negotiators who talked to Hicks from the ground.

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