NEW YORK – The apparent target of a criminal investigation threatened to jump from a 20th-floor window of a Manhattan skyscraper Wednesday as the FBI attempted to serve a search warrant, police sources said. The subject is described by the New York Post as a “suave New York City conman who allegedly once posed as the scion of a wealthy Jamaican family” based upon their prior reporting of him.
Ian Mitchell, 35, broke the window inside an apartment within the 72-story CitySpire condominium building and attempted to climb out around 8:40 a.m., the sources said. Authorities said the man launched a shady scheme back in 2015, according to the news outlet.
Mitchell was seen on video with his legs dangling from the window as people stood outside watching and filming. One photo showed his upper body enveloped in a white curtain or sheet as he sits in the window frame, with the glass shattered around him.
Police had to clear bystanders below to more than a block away from the building as the NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit responded to the scene.
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Several hours passed when Mitchell receded into the building about 1 p.m., but then barricaded himself inside.
The nature of the FBI warrant was not immediately known. A spokesman would only confirm that “we are conducting a law enforcement operation pursuant to an ongoing investigation.”
Mayor Eric Adams arrived at the scene about 2 p.m. as the standoff continued.
A neighbor who identified himself as Bahman, 63, said he has seen Mitchell in the elevator on the way up to his own residence in the building, The Post reported.
“He lives on the 31st [floor]. I live on the 40th,” Bahman said. “I see him sometimes in the elevator going up and down. I’ve never spoken to him. I just see him coming and going.”
“He was alone all the time” and always well-dressed, Bahman said.
“Of course, I’m shaken. I didn’t know I live next to a criminal,” he added. “I saw him on Sunday. He looked relaxed…going up and down….nothing out of the ordinary.”