- (PHOTO:REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)
Flaws in security on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge will undergo an investigation after a homeless man managed to bypass safeguards in an attempted suicide.
A homeless man was detained on Friday morning after he managed to scale to the highest point of the Golden Gate Bridge. Officials believe the man, who has not been named, began his climb to the top at around 6:15 p.m. according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The man made it to the top of the south tower, 500 feet above roadside, told police that he wanted to commit suicide and then disappeared.
Police could not place the man's whereabouts again until 9:45 a.m. on Friday morning. A California Highway Patrol SWAT team found the man still sitting at the top of the south tower, where he was coerced down from and taken into a psychiatric facility. While the man did not appear to be a terrorist, security concerns have still been raised.
"All those systems worked as planned. What didn't work was that someone got over, under or through the barriers," Kary Witt, the bridge manager, told the SF Chronicle. "It certainly should be difficult for someone to do what he did, and it is difficult."
While bridge authorities still plan on spending the next few days re-evaluating security measures, others have stated that there is no real need for concern.
"It doesn't really concern me that much, because I want to know what he could have really done," said Henry Willis, associate director of the Rand Homeland Security and Defense Center. "Now, if he could have gotten an entire truck of explosives in there, that would be a different story. But he couldn't."
Officials also explained that the homeless man was not deemed to be a threat or he would not have been permitted to sit atop the bridge for an entire night.
"You get an idea what you are dealing with based on all the inputs you are getting," Witt said. "The decisions that were made in terms of timing were very much based on well-informed law enforcement information."