Seattle police are currently in a standoff with a man refusing to come down from a huge tree.
Rescue workers and law enforcement officials are trying to convince an unidentified man, who climbed up an 80-foot tall sequoia tree downtown and remained there on Tuesday, to come down.
He has also refused to speak to authorities and instead threw fruits, twigs and pinecones at the first responders when they tried to approach him. He also claims to be armed with a knife, according to the police statement.
“It is quite a spectacle, honestly,” police spokesman Patrick Michaud told The Seattle Times. “At this point, we want to make sure he’s OK and that he can get down from the tree without hurting himself or someone else.”
The police believe the man suffers from a mental disorder since he has been yelling sporadically at everyone below. The authorities said rushing the situation could be dangerous and want to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself or hurt someone else.
“We’re on his schedule,” Michaud added. “We’re not going to rush it with someone at the top of a tall tree. If you rush it, it could become dangerous.”
The incident has caused a stir on social media, attracting hundreds of thousands of people to watch the scene unfold live on TV. In fact, there is a new parody Twitter account dedicated to the man, dubbed as “branch manager,” along with a hashtag #ManInTree.
Just the fact that I'm not 80 feet up a tree will be the reason I sleep well tonight #manintree— Genevieve Iverson (@genevieve_ive) March 23, 2016
Why are you guys so obsessed with #ManInTree— Eric Wilkinson (@EricWilkinson) March 23, 2016
*compulsively checks Twitter feed*
I mean this is so stupid.
*puts maple syrup behind ears*
He's just getting more branches to throw at people. #ManInTree— tifotter (@tifotter) March 23, 2016
Man in tree refuses to climb down tree. Most anti-climb-atic story yet. #ManInTree— Kathy (@kathy_banh) March 23, 2016
As of writing this, the man had been up in the tree for more than 8 hours and had refused any help from both the rescue firefighters and law enforcement officials alike.