A Manitowoc man accused of climbing a downtown communications tower and staying up there for nine hours appeared in court on Tuesday. Forty-three-year-old Thomas Lee Elliot was ordered held on a $500 cash bond.
Police said Elliot climbed the tower at the Manitowoc County Joint Dispatch Center just before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 16. He climbed as high as 150 feet, while drinking and tossing empty beer cans.
Elliot allegedly threatened to jump off the tower several times, as well as threatening to destroy the tower and kill himself with an improvised explosive device he claimed to be carrying.
Manitowoc County Sheriff’s crisis negotiators eventually convinced Elliot to come down from the tower around 2 a.m. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of hypothermia, before being taken to a mental health facility in Fond du Lac. Elliot was released from that facility on Monday.
Police are recommending charges of disorderly conduct and making a terrorist threat. No formal charges have been filed. Elliot is due back in court November 28.