Police received reports shortly after 11 AM that a man had scaled the approximately 80-foot tree near 4th Avenue and Stewart Street.
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.
SPD negotiators and crisis intervention specialists joined the effort and made use of a Seattle Fire truck’s ladder, enabling them to make face-to-face contact with the man as he straddled branches at the top of the tree.
During early attempts to contact the man, who appears to be suffering from a 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. 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.
As of 5 PM, Police negotiators continue to work to convince the man to descend from the tree, which has sustained some damage during today’s events. 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.