Man climbs tree in Seattle, throws fruit, pine cones at officers

A man climbed an 80-foot tall tree in downtown Seattle on Tuesday.
A man climbed an 80-foot tall tree in downtown Seattle on Tuesday.Grant Hindsley/seattlepi.com via AP

Seattle police said they were negotiating with a man who climbed up an 80-foot-tall tree and threw fruit and pine cones at police officers.

At 2:30 p.m., police tweeted from the department’s official account that streets were closed around Fourth Avenue and Stewart Street after a man climbed a tall tree there.

Police initially said that the “issue appears to be between the man and the tree.”

In a tweet sent shortly after, police stated, “Negotiators still working to contact man in tree at 4/Stewart. So far has refused to speak w/police and has thrown an apple at medics.”

On 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.

Michaud said police want 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 have said he appears to be suffering from a crisis and has been yelling intermittently.

In a post on the Seattle city’s website, officials said police officers closed the streets because “the man posed a danger to himself, pedestrians and motorists.”

When officers tried to talk with the man, “he threw an apple, branches, pine cones and other items at officers on the street below, and claimed to be armed with a knife.”

The approximately 80-foot Sequoia tree, believed to have been in place since the 1970s, is used by Macy’s at during the holidays.

The event appeared to be ongoing as of 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, and a live broadcast of the event was being aired by a local news station.

The incident also sparked #ManInTree to trend on Twitter, with responses ranging from serious to silly.


Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.