Seattle tree standoff: Man descends after 25 hours atop 80-foot sequoia
SEATTLE — After spending more than a day near the top of an 80-foot (24 metres) tall sequoia tree in downtown Seattle, an unnamed man has finally made his way back down to the ground.
The man climbed down from the tree on his own to the cheers of a gathered crowd, The Seattle Times reports.
Seattle police say someone called 9-1-1 Tuesday morning to report a man in the conifer used by Macy’s at Christmastime. Police say when authorities arrived, the man refused to speak with them and threw an apple at medics.
“Issue appears to be between the man and the tree,” Seattle police tweeted.
By Tuesday afternoon, police said traffic was being tied up as officials closed nearby roads as a precaution.
“It is quite a spectacle, honestly,” police spokesman Patrick Michaud told The Seattle Times.
WATCH: Despite hours of police coaxing, a man remained near the top of a 24-metre tall sequoia tree in downtown Seattle early Wednesday
Michaud said police wanted to make sure the man can get down without hurting himself or someone else and added that rushing it could create a dangerous situation. Police also said the man appeard to be suffering from a crisis and has been yelling intermittently.
The incident has attracted onlookers and a local TV station has had shown the incident live all day. It’s also grown in popularity on social media with new Twitter accounts dedicated to it and the hashtag #manintree trending on Twitter and Facebook.
He scrambled down toward the bottom just before 9 p.m. but soon made his way back up, snapping branches along the way. The unidentified man also ripped several branches from the tree and tossed them at the ground.
The man, appearing disheveled with a large beard, longer hair and a red knit hat he dropped during the day, has also ripped multiple branches from the tree and tossed them at the ground and at negotiators, who caught many of them.
Seattle Department of Transportation officials will review the health of the tree, believed to have been there since the 1970s, once the incident is resolved, police said.
With files from Lisa Baumann, The Associated Press and Global News
© 2016 The Canadian Press