UPDATE: The Seattle "Man In Tree" has been identified as "Cody" by locals as a harmless homeless "cool" guy who hangs out at the Seattle Center at the skate board park and where he informally coaches the young skate boarders. Why did Tony climb the tree about 24 hours ago? One woman who knows him said he saw an alley cat running up the tree and went up to rescue the animal, but became upset when the police ordered him down. A counselor at the downtown veterans' center said Tony has no substance abuse problems, but suffers flashbacks from his three tours in Afghanistan where he won the Silver Star for bravery in action as the member of an elite Special Forces unit. The counselor refused to give me Cody's full name and asked that I not publish his last name. I understand the Seattle Police Department is aware of Cody's hero status and are using "kid gloves" in bringing this military hero down from the tree without injury.
UPDATE: CODY IS ARRESTED
UPDATE: CODY IS ARRESTED
Equipped with snacks and warm clothing, an agitated man who climbed an 80-foot sequoia tree in downtown Seattle on Tuesday has refused to come down for more than 20 hours.
The episode has become a local and national spectacle, thanks in part to a live video feed by KOMO, a local news station. Seattle residents were surprised, and in many cases delighted, to wake up Wednesday morning and discover the man, who has not been identified, was still perched near the top of the tree. He has been there since about 11 a.m. Pacific time on Tuesday.
The authorities said they were unsure what motivated the climber.
“Issue appears to be between the man and the tree,” the police tweeted.
The police, however, cautioned that the man, who had thrown branches and items at people nearby, could pose a threat to himself and others.
“We want to make sure he’s O.K. and that he can get down from the tree without hurting himself or someone else,” a police spokesman, Patrick Michaud, told The Seattle Times. “We’re on his schedule — 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 man, wearing a long beard and disheveled clothes, has rebuffed attempts by negotiators to communicate, yelling and throwing an apple, branches and pine cones at officers on the street. He claimed he had a knife, the police said.
“Due to 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,” the police said in a statement.
For a moment on Tuesday it appeared the saga might be nearing an end. Just before 9 p.m., he climbed toward the bottom of the tree — but soon scrambled back to the top, according to The Associated Press.
He has snapped off most of the branches at the top of the tree, which was transplanted in 1973 near a Macy’s store at Fourth Avenue and Stewart Street. Officials fought to save the tree in 2010, when experts questioned whether it could survive in its city environment.
On Twitter, the #ManInTree attracted widespread support, with some concern mixed in.