CMPD Negotiators Helped Individual Who Climbed Electrical Tower


Charlotte, N.C. – (Sunday, January 9, 2021) – Officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Westover Division, Crisis Intervention Team officers and negotiators from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team were able to successfully de-escalate a situation involving a man who had climbed an electrical tower near East Woodlawn Road.  

Shortly before 2:00 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to a 911 call in the 1300 block of Nations Crossing Road regarding to a person climbing an large high-tension electrical tower. As officers arrived on the scene, they attempted to talk with a man who was approximately 70 feet up the tower. While officers were communicating, he climbed another 15-20 feet to the top of tower. 

CMPD contacted Duke Energy and crews were quickly dispatched to de-energize high-voltage power away from the tower. This caused some limited power outages for businesses and residents in the area. Duke Energy was able to re-route power through other stations to return service.  

SWAT negotiators were able to communicate with the man using a Long Range Acoustic Device. After approximately four hours of communication, the man climbed down from the tower safely and without injury. This person has not yet been identified due to his mental and physical condition. He was transported by Medic to Atrium Main to receive proper treatment.  

During this response, officers noticed a drone flying in close proximity to the man and high-voltage lines on the electrical tower. Officers were able to locate the person operating the drone. This person is under investigation for interfering with police and  life-saving rescue operations. 

CMPD reminds all drone operators to learn and adhere to FAA drone regulations, licensing and guidelines prohibiting operation of drones near Charlotte-Douglas airport, restricted utilities and public safety operations.  

The public is reminded that utility towers and power poles operated by Duke Energy are private property. Persons are not to climb on or around this equipment due to the danger of electrocution.  

Representatives of the CMPD Community Policing Crisis Response Team, CMPD's Operations Command, CFD, and MEDIC also assisted at this scene.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to provide that information by calling 911. The public can also leave information anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or The investigation into this case is active and ongoing. As additional information develops, it will be released by the CMPD's Public Affairs Office. For additional information about this case, please refer to the report: 20220109-1359-03.