OAKLAND -- A suicidal man who climbed onto BART tracks in West Oakland stopped trains throughout the system for more than an hour Tuesday before he was taken into custody by police shortly after noon, officials said.
The man's name was not released. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
The drama that played out about 40 feet above the area of Fifth Street and Mandela Parkway began about 11:11 a.m. when the man walked onto the tracks about 100 feet east of the West Oakland BART station. Power to the tracks was immediately cut.
The man argued for more than an hour with BART police, who were trying to talk him into giving himself up.
At different times he said he wanted to die and was going to kill himself, authorities said. He also could be heard saying he did not have a gun.
The man took off his shirt during the negotiations and at one point briefly dropped his pants but pulled them back up. He also climbed the ladder of a communications antennae pole and also briefly hung from a wire fence before climbing back onto the tracks.
BART police negotiating with the man kept edging closer to him and finally at about 12:12 p.m., more than a half-dozen officers rushed him and took him into custody.
The station reopened within a half-hour and service restarted.
During the time the man was on the tracks, BART trains were turned around at the Embarcadero Station in San Francisco and at different points in Oakland, causing major delays.
At least 100 people, many BART passengers not allowed in the station during the negotiations, were part of a crowd on the streets below. Some yelled for the man to surrender and when he was finally taken into custody many applauded.