Man charged after 21-hour standoff atop old blast furnace | TribLIVE.com
Pennsylvania

Man charged after 21-hour standoff atop old blast furnace

Associated Press
1412301_web1_AP19195713327823
April Gamin | The Morning Call
The man who climbed atop a blast furnace at SteelStacks in Bethlehem yells and motions with his hands hours before he was taken into custody by police Saturday, July 13, 2019. Jonathan David Wallace, 25, of Mertztown was charged Sunday with a felony charge of risking a catastrophe and also charged with reckless endangering and defiant trespass following the more-than-21-hour ordeal at the old Bethlehem Steel Corp.

BETHLEHEM — A man who climbed atop the rusting blast furnace at a former eastern Pennsylvania steel mill, prompting evacuation of an arts and entertainment venue now at the site, is now facing a felony charge of risking a catastrophe.

Jonathan David Wallace, 25, of Mertztown was also charged Sunday with reckless endangering and defiant trespass following the more-than-21-hour ordeal at the old Bethlehem Steel Corp. site that ended Saturday.

An outdoor concert scheduled at the SteelStacks campus was canceled and about 1,500 people evacuated after the man climbed up shortly before 7 p.m. Friday, balancing precariously on a single steel beam hundreds of feet above the venue. Events scheduled later were postponed or canceled.

Officers climbed to a platform below and talked to the man for hours, and he was taken into custody at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

District Attorney John Morganelli and Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio said the man appeared to be contemplating taking his own life during the standoff. He was taken for a mental health evaluation, and officials said he could be eligible for mental health court depending on the outcome of such evaluations.

Court documents don’t list an attorney for Wallace; a message left at a number listed for him wasn’t immediately returned Sunday.

Categories: News | Pennsylvania
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.