Sunday, May 26, 2013
WATERVILLE — A Massachusetts man was taken into protective custody late Tuesday after he threatened to jump off the roof of the student center at Colby College, according to police Chief Joseph Massey.
After about two hours of negotiations, police were able to talk James Trainor, 30, of Plymouth, Mass., off the Pugh Center roof, Massey said Wednesday.
During the incident, Trainor spoke about being followed by government agents, recited Bible verses and said he wanted to jump to call attention to problems with the health care system, Massey said.
Trainor agreed to go back into the building through a window and was taken to a hospital for evaluation, Massey said. Trainor was not charged in the incident, he said.
Police responded to Colby about 8:15 p.m. at the request of campus security officials, Massey said.
They told police that earlier that day, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., a man had spoken briefly to Colby President William Adams at his house on campus and security was called.
“They started looking for him. He was a large person, 6-4 or 6-5,” Massey said. “When they attempted to make contact with him, he took off running. They pursued him, lost him, and that’s when they called us.”
When officials learned the man was on the Pugh Center roof, police Sgt. Alden Weigelt, a trained negotiator, went to a window on the third floor where he was at eye level with the man and spoke to him, Massey said.
It was apparent to Weigelt that Trainor was suffering from mental health problems, Massey said.
“He rambled on about Mossad (Israeli intelligence) agents from Israel following him from New York, about scriptures in the Bible, about a personal holocaust. Those were the types of comments that would very much concern you that he may be capable of doing much more than just jumping off.”
At one point, Trainor stopped talking, but he started again after police Officer Tristan Russell called him by the nickname “Jay.”
Calling from the ground, Russell convinced Trainor to go to the window where Weigelt was, Massey said. Police later retrieved Trainor’s personal belongings from a local motel, he said, and they found his car on campus.
During the incident, students had gathered at the Pugh Center; but when police asked them to disperse, they did so and were cooperative, Massey said.
Trainor told police he is a former Colby student, but Michael Kiser, the college’s vice president of communications, said Wednesday that officials were unable to confirm from the college’s database that he was a former student.
Kiser said police arrived quickly and worked with security officials to resolve the situation.
Neither Massey nor Kiser had further information about Trainor or his status.