Rapping Pole Climber Halts Times Square Traffic

PHOTO: An unidentified man shut down a part of Times Square on June 28, 2011, after he climbed a light pole and refused to come down.PlayIda Mae Astute/ABC News
WATCH Aspiring Rapper Stops Traffic in Times Square

It took a man atop a light pole to bring a city that has seen it all to a halt today.

A section of New York City's Times Square was paralyzed for much of Tuesday morning after a man climbed atop a light pole and remained there for nearly two hours, despite an all-out effort by New York City police to coax him down.

The man,who appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s, climbed up a traffic light pole at the corner of Seventh Avenue and West 44th Street around 9:30 a.m.

New York City police quickly surrounded the pole and shut down traffic in the areas surrounding the intersection after receiving a call that an emotionally disturbed man had scaled a light pole.

Nearly two hours later, the man was still on top of the pole, despite repeated attempts by police to coax him down.

Wearing a red shirt, grey shorts and a black cap, the man waved his hands at passersby who looked up and, at one point, he began to rap from atop the pole.

Officers stood on top of an NYPD emergency vehicle to talk to the man, while emergency workers inflated a yellow airbag under the light pole, which stood about 20 feet in the air, just in case.

Meanwhile, a crowd of onlookers in the busy tourist and business district gathered below to watch as the man refused to come down.

Later accounts of the incident identified the man as an aspring rapper who had climbed onto the light pole to promote his CDs.

The area of Times Square where the incident occurred had already seen a busy morning, and drawn a large crowd, with an outdoor concert featuring singer Alicia Keys on ABC's "Good Morning America."

He eventually climbed down a ladder to the top of the police vehicle around 11:15 a.m. He was put in handcuffs and taken into police custody.

ABC News' New York City affiliate WABC-7 reports the man was transported to New York's Bellevue Hospital for evaluation.

Charges against him are pending.

ABC New York City affiliate WABC-7 contributed to this story.