Man threatens to jump from Hart atrium

An unidentified Chinese man has been threatening to jump from the seventh floor of the Senate Hart Office Building's inner atrium since around 5:45 p.m., according to U.S. Capitol Police.

Police negotiators are conversing with the man through a Chinese translator and are attempting to coax him off of the shallow ledge on the outside of the glass wall overlooking the office building’s atrium.

“We don’t know very much right now,” said Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer. “We don’t know what his issue is or what office he visited. The police are trying to calm the situation and see if we can get him on the right side of the rail.”

Police and fire department officials are working to put safety apparatuses in place, such as a safety net or an inflatable jump pad, in the event that he decides to jump, said Gainer.

“Hopefully it won’t come to that,” he added.

Police have dealt with the man previously, said Gainer, who declined to comment further until the situation was resolved.

Police have closed the atrium but have not called for an evacuation.

Fourteen senators have offices on the seventh floor, including Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).