Man Removes Clothes and Threatens to Jump From State Building
NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ An emotionally disturbed man who was recently released from prison stood on the ninth floor window ledge of a Veterans Administration office Friday, took off his clothes and threatened to jump.
Leroy Menendez, 51, said in an interview from the ledge with station WDSU- TV that he was upset because he had been denied veterans benefits.
Menendez entered the office just before noon, set a fire in a waste basket, broke a window, got out on the ledge and removed his clothes, flinging them into the street, police said.
The clothes were retrieved by police and Menendez put them back on.
An air-filled safety mattress was placed on the sidewalk.
Police Chaplain Peter Rogers said Menendez had a history of erratic behavior. The chaplain said Menendez was released from prison about two weeks ago serving time for firing a gun downtown. Rogers also said Menendez held a doctor hostage for several hours in an office building in 1977.
A shopping bag carried by Menendez blew off the ledge and fell to the sidewalk. The contents included a copy of a newspaper article of the hostage incident.
Dr. Ciro Juarez Nunez, psychiatrist at Orleans Parish prison, said Menendez was given anti-psychotic drugs in prison. Nunez said Menendez’s behavior Friday was ″a surprise to me as far as his behavior in jail was concerned. He was unusually courteous.″