Police Arrest Emotionally Disturbed Man Who Climbed National Christmas Tree Near The White House

A man in handcuffs, and the National Christmas tree all lit up
Salivanchuk Semen\Mark Wilson / Getty Images\Shutterstock

On Friday evening, a man was detained after he tried to climb the National Christmas Tree near the White House in Washington D.C. The man, whose name has not yet been publicly released, scaled the tree at around 5:45 pm local time, and spent more than an hour refusing to come back to the ground.

As reported by the Daily Mail, U.S. Park Police said they believed the man appeared to be emotionally distressed as they tried to coax him down. He eventually negotiated with them before agreeing to climb back to earth around 7 pm. He had scaled approximately 15 feet of the tree by the time he decided to come back down of his own accord.

He was detained by police on the scene, and taken to a hospital so that doctors could perform a psychological evaluation to determine his mental state that resulted in him climbing the tree.

Public Information Officer Sgt. Eduardo Delgado said that U.S. Park Police and expert negotiators were called to the scene of the National Christmas Tree shortly before 6 pm, and were told that a man was climbing up the lit tree. D.C. Fire Department and EMS also responded to the scene in case they were required to bring the man down by force, or treat him if he suffered any injuries during the climb.

According to Delgado, the man appeared to be completely unscathed physically when he arrived back on solid ground. No one else was harmed during the incident either. However, some of the lights on the tree appeared to have been damaged during the saga.

The view of the tree looks out onto the White House, as it is situated on the Ellipse just south of the president’s residence. It is as yet unclear whether or not he will be charged with a crime for climbing the tree. Police are currently investigating the incident, and trying to establish what motive the man had for scaling the artificial tree just four days before Christmas.

After the incident, the lights were turned off for the rest of the night, and the pageant area of the park was also closed to the public for the remainder of the evening. Saturday’s holiday performance in President’s Park has also been canceled as a result of the incident, according to News Channel 20.

The National Christmas Tree was lit on November 28, an event from which U.S. President Donald Trump disappeared without addressing the press, according to a previous report by the Inquisitr.