Man Falls to Death During Occupy SD

By Lindsay Hood and Sarah Grieco
|  Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 10:14 AM PDT
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Protesters Camp Out for Occupy San Diego

Sam Hodgson - Voice of San Diego

Ryan Clement (center), Sarah Holland (right), Holly Hellerstedt (left, front) and Victor Velasquez (left, back) embrace soon after learning about the man's fall from a nearby parking garage.

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Protesters Camp Out for Occupy San Diego

Thousands of protesters who were fed up with Wall Street and Corporate America set up camp Friday evening at Children's Park, after two marches through San Diego.
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A man fell to his death from the top of a parking structure during the Occupy San Diego protest Monday.

The movement's organizers believe the man may have been a homeless individual who had joined the encampment downtown.

San Diego police initially ruled the fall a suicide, but the county medical examiner initially suggested the man was trying to hang flyers on the outside walls of the San Diego Concourse parking structure around 3:30 p.m when he lost his balance and fell to his death.The office has since update its statement, saying they are investigating the cause of death.

"[Witnesses saw] a male falling from the parking structure and there were no other individuals around him at that time," SDPD Capt. Mark Jones said Monday night.

Witness saw flyers around the man, but they are unsure if they belonged to the victim, Jones said.

Police said Monday night the man was not part of the protest at the San Diego Civic Center. However, his identity has not been released pending notification of family. The medical examiner said the man was a San Diego resident.

The man, who police described as in his 40s, fell from the top floor of the multi-level parking structure and landed near a fountain in front of the doors to Golden Hall police said.

When witnesses called 911, officers were already at the concourse for Occupy SD and were able to respond within seconds.

The Occupy San Diego group mourned the man's death last night by sitting together in silence. Signs posted throughout the tent city read: "One of the 99% lost his life."

"We feel like he was part of it," said event organizer Jordan Hammond.

There are no plans for a tribute as the group is still in "shock" from the incident, said Hammond. He said although the loss of life was tragic, it brought the protesters closer together.

"If he was indeed with this cause and he lost his life, this becomes a tribute to him," said volunteer Howard Gerber.

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