A man who spent 24 hours at the top of an 80-foot Giant Sequoia tree outside Macy’s in downtown Seattle has finally come down.
The Inquisitr reported earlier on Wednesday that a man was stuck at the top of a Giant Sequoia tree in downtown Seattle, refusing to come down and causing a traffic gridlock in the city.
While up there, the man threw apples, orange peel, pine cones, and other materials at would-be rescuers, and the Seattle police claimed the man said he was armed with a knife.
— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) March 23, 2016
After spending the entire Tuesday night at the top of the tree – located at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Stewart Street – the man did request a pack of Camel Crush cigarettes but refused calls for him to descend to ground level.
According to KIRO 7, authorities had been alerted to the fact that an unidentified man was up in the tree at around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. At the time, the Seattle police tweeted, “Issue appears to be between the man and the tree.”
At just after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Seattle rescue crews brought a ladder truck to the scene after receiving reports of a man stuck in the upper branches of the tree. Reportedly, the fire truck’s ladder was extended to within a few feet of the man and negotiators climbed up to attempt to speak with him. Negotiators also tried to talk to the man from the building located next to the tree. The man steadfastly refused to come down and stayed the whole night up on the top branches of the tree.
According to a KOMO news team at the scene, the man appeared to be agitated and kept shouting and “flipping the bird” at onlookers. It was at that time that people witnessing the scene started questioning the man’s mental health. Some onlookers thought he might be high on drugs. In appearance, the man looked disheveled, with long hair and a large beard and was initially wearing a red knit hat, which he dropped during the day.
According to KUTV, it was decided by Seattle police to take the matter slowly with the man in the tree.
According to Patrick Michaud of the Seattle PD, “Initially there were threats made toward officers and at one point he mentioned he had a knife and we wanted to make sure that we were able to work with him and help to make sure he would remain safe and there was no chance of him accidentally falling out of the tree.”
However, by the mid-afternoon on Tuesday, the man had stripped branches and tore limbs from the tree, hurling them down at police officers and firefighters.
— KOMO News (@komonews) March 23, 2016
Reportedly during the night, a woman, saying she would go on a date with him, almost persuaded the man to come down. He got halfway, then changed his mind and climbed up again.
After his night in the tree, it was at just after 11:40 a.m. on Wednesday that the man finally began his descent from the tree after the incident became a worldwide Internet event, with even a Twitter hashtag dedicated to him, #ManInTree. Reportedly there were 54,000 tweets related to the incident.
— Simply Measured (@simplymeasured) March 23, 2016
As onlookers cheered and chanted the words “Man in Tree,” in deference to the viral hashtag, he eventually sat at the base of the tree and to all intents and purposes, appeared to be eating a piece of fruit.
At first police officers kept their distance from the man, but when they did approach him, they put him on a gurney and took him to the Harborview Medical Center for a medical evaluation.
“We were very glad we were able to work with him and get him out safely,” said Michaud.
Now that the man is safely out of the tree, Michaud says his well-being is their primary focus and that he won’t be facing any criminal charges. The man will be receiving the mental, and any physical, help he might need.
While the whole incident was ongoing, the #ManInTree hashtag continued to go viral with thousands of people across the world following the drama. One anonymous Twitter user even created the Twitter handle “@Man_in_Tree” on behalf of the man.
— Damien Glitch (@DamienKIRO7) March 23, 2016
The iconic Giant Sequioa tree the man chose to climb was planted at the site in downtown Seattle back in the 1970s and around six years ago was the focus of an effort to save it, after its condition started to deteriorate.
Reportedly the city injected the soil around the tree with compost to help it recover. According to Seattle DOT officials, once the ordeal is over and done with, they will then turn their attentions to the health of the tree. However, an arborist who saved the tree before did say the man wasn’t hurting the tree, despite damaging the top branches.