Video: Calif. FFs rescue riders after man, claiming to have a bomb, climbs Ferris wheel
Santa Monica firefighters are seen rescuing riders from a Ferris wheel during a standoff
By Adam Elmahrek
Los Angeles Times
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Authorities closed Santa Monica Pier after a man climbed onto the Ferris wheel and claimed to be carrying a bomb, police officials said Monday.
In aerial footage from local TV, the man could be seen on the wheel carrying a dark bag. Police and firefighters were at the scene, and around 4:30 p.m., the man had climbed down and been taken into custody by officers gathered beneath the ride.
The Santa Monica Police Department had earlier announced via its account on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, that officers were “dealing with a person in crisis.” They subsequently evacuated the pier and Pacific Park.
In an interview with The Times before the man was taken into custody, Lt. Erika Aklufi said officers were attempting to extract riders from the Ferris wheel while they communicated with the man to “try to get him to come down.”
“Out of an abundance of caution,” Aklufi said, “we’re going to act as if he does [have a bomb] until we can prove that he doesn’t.” Video showed firefighters using a lift to remove riders from the Ferris wheel.
At about 4:45 p.m., Santa Monica police posted that no bomb had been found: “The suspect is in custody and will be transported to a local hospital for evaluation,” police said.
The pier and Pacific Park have “reopened to visitors upon receiving an all-clear status” from police after “guest and employee evacuation procedures were initiated due to an unknown individual in a restricted area at the Ferris wheel,” park spokesperson Cameron Andrews said in a statement Monday evening. The park thanked police “for their speedy response, direction and leadership.”