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A man climbed atop a VTA bus on the route 25 line holding police negotiators at bay for four hours at South First and Keyes streets before surrendering peacefully on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Staff)

SAN JOSE -- Four hours after a man clambered atop a VTA bus at a stop south of downtown, he came down voluntarily and was arrested, authorities said.

Streets near the intersection of Keyes and South First streets, which had been blocked off nearly the whole time, were reopened about 2 p.m., said Sgt. Jose Cardoza, a spokesman for the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department. The sheriff is responsible for security on local buses and light rail under a contract with the VTA.

The man, David Eric Gerkin, 26, was arrested on suspicion of committing two misdemeanors -- disrupting bus lanes and resisting or delaying a peace officer. Cardoza said he also was booked for violating parole. Gerkin had been released recently from state prison, but it was unclear Monday what crime he committed, Cardoza said.


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At one point, deputies thought Gerkin had a screwdriver, but it turned out to be a pen, Cardoza said.

The situation was resolved peacefully by deputies specially trained in dealing with mental health issues.

"We're not going to use force against someone not presenting an imminent threat,'' Cardoza said. "We just wanted to come down safely.''

A large crowd gathered to watch. San Jose police assisted with traffic control, according to police spokesman Sgt. Jason Dwyer.