Standoff with Seattle #ManInTree ends after yelling, rude gestures

Posted at 12:02 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 17:33:37-04

SEATTLE -- The standoff with a 28-year-old man who refused to come down from an 80-foot Sequoia tree in Seattle has officially come to an end.

After more than 24 hours, the Washington man climbed down and went to the hospital to be checked out.

However, not before throwing an apple at paramedics and making rude gestures to TV cameras.

KCPQ reported the man scaled the 80-foot tree at about 11 a.m. PDT Tuesday and was up there until Wednesday afternoon.

No one seems to know why he climbed up there -- or what he wanted, if anything.

The man spent much of the morning reclining quietly in the upper branches, according to KCPQ, but he resumed gesticulating wildly and shouting when two police officers tried to talk to him from sixth-floor windows of the Macy's department store building next door.

Streets were closed in the area as officers tried to get him to come down.

The hashtag #ManInTree is trending on Twitter and Facebook for this standoff.

"Officers arrived at the scene, determined the man posed a danger to himself, pedestrians and motorists, and closed several surrounding streets. Police attempted to contact the man but he refused to speak with officers," the Seattle Police Department said on its online crime blotter.

"During early attempts to contact the man, who appears to be suffering from a mental health crisis, he threw an apple, branches, pine cones and other items at officers on the street below, and claimed to be armed with a knife," SPD said. "Due to the his violent behavior and threats, and the man’s precarious position high above the ground, police are taking extreme caution to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

"Once the incident is resolved, Seattle Department of Transportation officials will review the health of the approximately 80-foot sequoia tree, believed to have been in place since the 1970s," SPD said.