Man Jumps From Evans Hall

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A man died yesterday morning after falling to his death from the ninth floor of Evans Hall in what police are calling an apparent suicide.

The Oakland resident, who was in his late 30s, does not appear to have any current affiliation with the university, said UC police Capt. Bill Cooper.

Spokesperson Robert Sanders said the man had graduated from UC Berkeley in 1985.

The man appears to have jumped from the window of a common conference room facing north at approximately 9:32 a.m. Police have not found a note, nor any explanation for the man's apparent decision to take his own life.

Several witnesses saw the man jump and alerted the authorities. Cooper said classes held in the building were not interrupted except for a minor inconvenience to students trying to walk through the area.

Police are investigating the incident but Cooper said there were no signs of foul play and they believe he jumped of his own volition.

Cooper added that the incident does not mark the first time residents of the area have chosen to take their lives by jumping from Evans Hall.

"Someone jumped off a balcony on the west side in August 1994," he said. "I believe they have taken steps to make it more difficult."

Cooper said there was no evidence in the latest incident indicating why the man chose that particular location for the site of his jump.

The man's body was taken to the Alameda County Coroner's Office in Oakland for a positive identification and determination of cause of death. He landed on an asphalt path and does not appear to have hit anything on his descent.

Police said they believe the man died instantly. He was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics.

Yesterday's death was a rare incidence of suicide at the university.

"I don't think there were any (suicides)in '99," Cooper said. "There was one in '98 in the International House and one in student housing down in Albany (Village)."

Cooper said in the past people have jumped from other campus buildings as well, including Barrows and Eshleman halls.

A counseling representative from the Tang Center came to the scene to talk to witnesses.


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