ATLANTA – A homicide suspect remained perched on an 18-story construction crane for a third day Friday, holding police at bay and causing a spectacle in the city's entertainment district.
A plea from his sister, offers of food and a plan to have him jump onto air bags on a nearby building hadn't resolved the standoff.
The man, identified as Carl Edward Roland (search), got onto the crane around 5 p.m. Wednesday and told police he was thinking of killing himself by jumping, police spokesman Sgt. John Quigley said.
"When he's ready to come down, he'll come down — one way or the other," Quigley said.
Roland is wanted by the Pinellas County, Fla., sheriff's department in the death of ex-girlfriend Jennifer L. Gonzalez (search), 36, whose body found Tuesday. An arrest warrant affidavit accuses Roland of strangling Gonzalez and dumping her body in a pond behind the apartment complex where she lived.
Two days earlier, Roland told acquaintances he believed Gonzalez was cheating on him and asked them if they could get him a firearm so he could kill her, according to the affidavit.
Authorities had said Thursday that Roland talked to negotiators but refused food and water. Quigley said he didn't know if he had accepted anything since then.
Since March, the 41-year-old Clearwater, Fla., man had quit his job as a software salesman and filed for bankruptcy. Roland said he owed $10,500 in federal taxes and more than $13,000 on credit cards, court records show.
The standoff was high above Atlanta's busy Buckhead neighborhood (search), an area filled with clubs and restaurants. Lunch and dinner crowds, taking advantage of summer-like weather, have packed restaurant patios with clear views of the standoff.
Authorities closed some streets under the crane, including Peachtree Road, one of the city's main thoroughfares. The closure led to traffic delays throughout the area.
Vernard Swindle, 29, laid off from his job stocking groceries, took a bus from his home three miles away Friday to see what was going on. He was still there two hours later.
"I'm wondering what's going on in his head to stay up there more than 36 hours with no food or water," Swindle said.