As the FBI attempted to serve a search warrant Wednesday, a sophisticated New York City conman who posed as the scion of a wealthy Jamaican family threatened to jump from a 20th-floor Manhattan skyscraper window, police sources said.
The sources claimed Ian Mitchell, 35, who investigators say started the scam in 2015, broke the window in an apartment in the 72-story CitySpire condominium complex and tried to jump out around 8:40 a.m.
Mitchell hangs from the window as onlookers film.
One photo shows his upper body covered in a white drape or sheet as he sits in the window frame with smashed glass. His T-shirt and jeans are black.
Officers encourage passersby to enter the building or relocate down the block.
Sources said the NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit was speaking with the individual. He was unarmed.
At 1 p.m., Mitchell exited the window and trapped himself in the apartment.
According to police sources, Mitchell’s girlfriend’s CitySprire condo is in the hallway with the FBI, police, and a hostage negotiation team.
Mitchell is talking to the police but staying near the ledge. When he approaches the broken window, the glass falls from the 31st story.
The besieged man has repeatedly told officials, “I’ll jump,” when he thinks they’re moving into the apartment.
Mayor Eric Adams came around 2:00.
“NYPD patience. They work. “That’s why they’re the best,” Hizzoner remarked. Patient. Our hostage negotiating team is the greatest and will do everything possible to resolve this.”
The standoff ended about 5 p.m. when an NYPD Emergency Service Unit officer rappelled down the 72-story tower and entered the suicidal man’s condo.
The nimble officer down a rope from Mitchell’s 31st-floor apartment.
While the descending officer mounted the building and leaped through the smashed window, another ESU cop held the rope steady. Mitchell was dangling on the brink.
The cop kicked the man inside and followed him in.
In the hours before the NYPD’s breakthrough, a team of hostage negotiators and NYPD and FBI officers had been talking to Mitchell in the corridor outside his front door.
Mitchell was carried out in a white sheet. He was hospitalized for a psychiatric examination in an ambulance.
A spokesman claimed, “we are conducting a law enforcement operation pursuant to an ongoing investigation,” but sources said the FBI was executing an arrest warrant for a “white-collar crime.”
In 2019, authorities told The Post that Mitchell posed as investment banker “Ian Matalon,” a relative of wealthy Jamaican billionaire Joseph Matalon.
The dapper criminal allegedly convinced three victims, one an Air Force veteran, that they could own a bar at the Hudson Hotel on West 58th Street if they paid $33,000 for a liquor license in 2015.
Manhattan prosecutors said Mitchell spent the money on personal needs and had no relationship with the hotel’s bars.
The Air Force veteran, who requested anonymity, sent $15,000, his life savings.
Mitchell allegedly defrauded Yellowstone Medical Management Inc. businessman Humberto Romero of about $158,000 starting in 2016.
Mitchell told Romero he managed a multimillion-dollar hedge fund named INC Capital and offered him a high return if he invested in the fictitious company and other enterprises.
Romero, 45, stated in an affidavit obtained by The Post that Ian had clients who invested millions. “He persuaded.”
Mitchell went dark as Romero tried to withdraw. Romero called the police after a background check revealed his real name and the hedge fund never existed.
Suffolk County authorities say Mitchell spent Romero’s money on student debts, credit cards, gym expenses, and a car lease.
“Mr. Mitchell has taken responsibility and has sought to make good on his financial commitments,” his lawyer Todd Spodek told The Post.
Mitchell has “two open matters” with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, and a judge issued a bench warrant when he failed to appear in court on Jan. 31, 2020.
Bahman, 63, a neighbor, said he saw Mitchell in the elevator on his way home.
He lives on the 31st. “I live on the 40th,” Bahman remarked. “I see him in the elevator. I never spoke to him. He merely comes and goes.”
Bahman stated he was always well-dressed and alone.
“I’m shaken. “I didn’t know I lived next to a criminal,” he said. Sunday. Relaxed… moving up and down—nothing unusual.”
Behzad, 69, said he was visiting his sister at CitySpire but had left for 20 minutes to buy coffee.
Behzad, a former real estate agent, said he couldn’t return. Police control the elevator. My sister stated the loudspeaker shouted the police are here—don’t leave your apartment. They manage elevators.”
“I’m not surprised,” he continued. “It’s stupid. If he’s a conman… Do the crime, do time. Life is everything.”