Contractor mum on courthouse crane incident - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Contractor mum on courthouse crane incident

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Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 1:40 pm

EDINBURG — Morganti, the general contractor for the Hidalgo County Courthouse project, did not respond to repeated requests for comment Thursday on an incident in which a man threatened to jump off a crane at the site the previous evening.

The 18-year-old individual gained access to the site Thursday and called authorities at 9:20 p.m. from atop a 230-foot crane, threatening to jump.

Officers with Edinburg police climbed the crane and brought the man down without incident about an hour later.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said the location is in the sheriff’s office’s jurisdiction and that deputies took the man into custody after he was escorted down.

According to Guerra, the man is currently in custody and has been charged with criminal trespass, a class B misdemeanor.

Guerra said security at the site is the responsibility of the general contractor.

“The site is currently in their custody,” he said. “I know that my staff has reached out and advised them to consider hiring security officers or peace officers at the location.”

In a statement, the sheriff’s office congratulated first responders at the scene and urged residents to avoid trespassing at construction sites.

“We would like to recognize Edinburg Police Chief Cesar Torres and his officers on the rapid response and efforts in bringing this situation to a safe conclusion,” the statement read. “HCSO would also like to inform our community that going into construction sites is not only dangerous but it is against the law. Violators can be charged with criminal trespass which is a class B misdemeanor punishable by a $2000 fine and up to 180 days in jail.”

When contacted Thursday, Hidalgo County Public Affairs Director Julia Benitez Sullivan declined to comment on the incident, noting that Morganti was in charge of the site.

Construction at the courthouse was ongoing Thursday and it’s unclear whether any additional security has been added to the location.

Juan Rodriguez, a representative for the U.S. Labor Department, said Thursday that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is not investigating the incident.

“Their jurisdiction is limited to workers,” he said.

mwilson@themonitor.com

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