Man Causes Chaos After Refusing To Come Down From A Tree For Over 24 Hours
An unidentified man has been perched on top of a tree in downtown Seattle, Washington since Tuesday morning.
According to The Seattle Times, police and firefighters were called to an 80-foot sequoia tree outside a Macy's a little after 11 am on Tuesday.
Negotiators tried to get him to come down or at least explain why he was up there, but the man only responded by yelling obscenities and throwing tree branches, orange peels, pine cones and an apple.
He also refused to speak at times, and his only request, so far, was a pack of Camel Crush cigarettes, KOMO News reports.
The man claimed to be carrying a knife, but police are not seeking criminal charges because they seem more worried about the man's mental health than any danger he poses to the public.
Police spokesman Patrick Michaud told The Seattle Times,
I think we're more concerned about him getting out of the tree safely. And, if he needs any mental (health) help, to get that help for him. That's our first concern.
The man appears to have spent the night sleeping in a makeshift nest, The Washington Post reports.
He reportedly nearly came down overnight when a woman told him she'd give him a kiss, but he quickly climbed back up.
By yesterday evening, several people gathered at the tree in support of the man, and #ManInTree is currently trending.
One of the signs said,
Trees are not owned. Leave him alone.
Some onlookers claimed to have seen the man in the area before.
Numerous downtown streets surrounding the tree, planted in the 1970s, have been closed for hours, according to KIRO-TV.
You can watch KOMO News' live coverage of the rescue operation here.
Citations: Man climbs downtown Seattle tree, creates hourslong standoff (The Seattle Times), Agitated man climbs atop 80-foot tree in downtown Seattle, won't come down (KOMO News), Morning Mix 'The man in the tree' mesmerizes Seattle — from 80 feet (The Washington Post), After 20 hours, man still sits in 80-foot tall tree downtown (KIRO-TV)