WATCH: Atop LA church, unclothed man sets cross on fire, climbs electrical wire


LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Authorities detained a suspect apparently captured on aerial video setting fire to a cross on top of a church in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

Firefighters and police were on scene outside St. Mary’s Catholic Church in the Boyle Heights neighborhood shortly before 8:30 p.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department said in an alert.

The man, who appeared to be clad in only boxers and socks, was on top of a bell tower trying to start a fire when KTLA’s helicopter arrived above the scene around 8:45 p.m. However, the flames failed to spread past the apex of the roof.

He eventually scaled down the scaffolding surrounding the tower shortly after 9 p.m., heading across the church’s main roof before jumping across to other roofs in the neighborhood. At one point, he was even seen climbing an electrical wire. Police were tracking the man’s movements and took him in to custody outside of a residential building shortly after 10 p.m.

Paramedics subsequently transported the man to the hospital, LAFD said. It was unclear if he required treatment or was being evaluated. Fire officials remained at the church late Wednesday night, and an arson investigation was underway.

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