A man who climbed atop a tall ride at Knott’s Berry Farm drew the attention of authorities and park goers on Saturday evening as the individual stood atop the more than 300-foot tower for more than one hour.
The man came down on his own by about 9 p.m., was detained by Buena Park police and was transported to a local hospital by fire paramedics for mental health evaluation, said Sgt. Mario Escamilla, a police spokesperson.
Park goers flagged down a Buena Park police officer assigned to the park around 7:22 p.m., pointing out the man who had climbed to the top of the ride Supreme Scream, said Escamilla said.
Officers and rescue crews with the Orange County Fire Authority were on hand, closing La Palma Avenue between Beach Boulevard and Western Avenue., Escamilla said. Though the theme park remained open, park officials had evacuated the area near Supreme Scream.
Authorities could not comment on the man’s motive for climbing the towering ride. The height of the tower made communication to the man difficult.
Before the man climbed down, fire rescue crews were prepared to climb up to the man to begin the process of getting him down from the ride, Escamilla said.
The ride, first opened in 1998, stands at 312 feet and is among the tallest free-standing structures in Orange County, according to the OC Almanac.
In a statement, Knott’s said: “Knott’s Berry Farm became aware of a male who had accessed a unauthorized area and climbed the Supreme Scream tower. Park personnel alerted local law enforcement and emergency responders who are now on site. The guest descended the tower at 8:55 p.m. and is now currently safely on the ground in police custody. No other information is available at this time. The safety of our guests is always our top priority.”
On July 9, a drive-by shooting just outside Knott’s also drew authorities into the area, causing parkgoers to flee in a panic. Two teenage boys were wounded in the shooting.