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Rap performer scales pole, stops traffic

Tourists in Times Square were treated to a free "show" Tuesday when a man scaled a light pole, halting traffic for nearly two hours as police tried to coax him down.

The man, wearing an orange-red T-shirt, shorts and a baseball cap, clambered up a light pole at 44th Street and Seventh Avenue, the heart of Times Square, around midmorning and launched into a rap performance.

Police set up an inflatable cushion under the pole for fear he would jump.

As onlookers watched, snapping pictures, he waved his arms, stood, shouted out to the crowd and finally sat down, swinging his legs. Witnesses said he seemed to be promoting a rap music CD.

After nearly two hours, during which helmeted police standing on a truck tried to reach him and coax him down, he descended a ladder they had put up, and was taken in police custody to Bellevue Hospital for evaluation.

Authorities did not release his name, pending possible charges.

Traffic resumed its slow crawl through the congested area a short time later.

-- Reuters and AP

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