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Man arrested after standoff with police downtown

A transient allegedly armed with a metal rod was arrested in Little Italy Saturday.

LITTLE ITALY (CBS 8) - A possible transient carrying a metal rod was arrested in Little Italy Saturday.

San Diego police said the man was acting erratically when they approached him around 8:50 a.m. at the Farmer's Market in the 1600 block of State Street.

"He definitely looked like he almost lost consciousness for a moment and had brief periods of that," said Nicole Devine, who was working at Panache Pantry Gourmet Bread Crumbs. "He definitely looked like he was either on something or definitely needed to be assessed so he could be on something," she said.

A passerby called in the incident to police, who quickly noticed he man clinching on to the metal rod while also holding on to some mail. He had blood dripping down his face and would not respond to police orders to put down the pipe.

"The police officer that was talking to him, I have to say was really cool, like, they didn't want to use force or anything like that, and he was trying to tell him look, what do you need, what do you want, and the guy wouldn't even say one word," said Dina Talbott, a vendor who witnessed the standoff.

For about 45 minutes multiple San Diego Police officers had the man surrounded. The area in front of the Barbery barber shop was blocked off to patrons as many stood and watched. 

"We attempted to establish communication with him, we asked him repeatedly to drop the weapon, we didn't want him to get hurt, we didn't want to get hurt," said Lt. Kevin Mayer.

Police employed a number of resources, including two dogs and shields.

Meanwhile, the man kept talking to himself until finally police used pepper spray and then took him down before placing handcuffs on him. He was put on a stretcher, where he kept moving his feet as he was placed inside an ambulance.

According to police, the man was taken to a hospital to be evaluated for possible mental health issues.

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