SAN JOSE -- A man needed a rescue squad after getting stuck in a tree above a creek near downtown San Jose after purportedly running away from gang members, authorities said.

The man used a cell phone to call police about 6:20 a.m. Monday from a tree limb hanging about 30 feet above the Los Gatos Creek near West San Carlos Street and Royal Avenue, just west of Bird Avenue, said Officer Albert Morales. He told responding officers that he had been running away from people when he made it to the limb, which sits about six to seven feet below the creek's overcrossing.

Police soon called the San Jose Fire Department, which sent an engine along with a rescue team in case he fell from the tree, said Capt. Rob Brown.

Over the course of about an hour, firefighters suspended an aerial ladder from the bridge and using a system of ropes and pulleys, harnessed a firefighter and lowered him to the stranded man. Both were then pulled up to safety.

Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.