A 22-year-old transient with unknown motives climbed on top of a water tower at the site of the old Sawyer Tannery on Wednesday morning and resisted efforts for about six and a half hours to get him down.
The incident began about 11:26 a.m. at the Sawyer Tannery Studios at 68 Coombs Street, police said. Napa County Mental Health and the Crisis Negotiation Team were called to the scene, police said.
The man, identified by police as Adrain Madrigal, threw a heavy metal can filled with rocks at officers on watch below, police said. He also attempted to destroy cell phone equipment on the tower, police said.
Madrigal came down from the tower around 5:50 p.m. after repeatedly asking authorities at the scene for water. Madrigal was hit with a Taser after he refused to be taken into custody and tried to climb back up the tower, police said. Madrigal then surrendered to officers and was taken to Queen of the Valley Medical Center.
Madirgal was later booked into the Napa County Jail on suspicion of assault with intent to create great bodily injury, trespassing and cutting a utility line.
Police officers, speaking in Spanish through a bullhorn, initially tried to persuade Madrigal to come down, offering him cigarettes and tacos as dozens of bystanders watched from a distance.
Six hours into the standoff, with the sun going down, Madrigal began shouting for “agua.”
Throughout the day, Madrigal, who was wearing a baseball cap and carrying a backpack, either continued to walk around the top of the tower or sit down. He occasionally yelled back in Spanish. He also could be seen climbing in and out of the water tank through a hatch.
At one point, Madrigal began to climb down an exterior staircase only to get back on the top of the tower.
A Napa City firefighter climbed on top of a ladder truck to try to persuade him to come down, but to no avail.
A manager at the business center who speaks Spanish said he believes Madrigal may be the same person he found on the property Tuesday. This person said he was looking for a job and was told to return early the next day, he said.
Workers at the complex said they did not realize what was happening until they heard the police arrive at the scene.
Estimates of damage were not available at press time.