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Man refusing to come down from tree in Queens

By Marcus Solis

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    BROOKVILLE, Queens (WABC) — A man is refusing to come down from a tree after climbing up from the roof of a home in Queens.

It all began Wednesday afternoon on the roof of the 145th Street home in the Brookville section.

The man has now climbed into an adjacent tree, where he spent the night.

Police are there, apparently waiting him out, with the streets closed since Wednesday.

“They tried to get him out but I guess he says he wants to stay up there,” a neighbor said.

The man’s mother called police at around 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, claiming he was threatening her.

That’s when he took off to the rooftop and later the tree.

“Let some of the friends he plays with coax him down, but they say no, and they are going there and just aggravating him more,” another neighbor said.

Police say there is a warrant for the man’s arrest after he allegedly punched a 50-year-old woman who was in a car with him on September 30 in Queens.

“This is something that he does all the time,” NYPD Chaplain Dr. Reba Perry said. “He gets in the tree. It’s not unusual for him to be in the tree. He’s from Haiti. They climb trees.”

Dr. Perry, who is also a nurse, psychologist and happens to be his neighbor, was helping with the negotiations to bring him down.

“Unfortunately when you have a psychological program that isn’t claimed, you have to approach it differently,” she said. “He’s come down five times. It’s unstable. He hasn’t eaten since yesterday.”

As people on the block began to gather, police set up a mat in the front yard. A priest, hospital workers, and more negotiators arrived, and even the man’s brother tried to talk him down.

The man has shouted that he does not want to go back to jail, saying he was abused behind bars. His most recent arrest was three years ago.

“Don’t tell him he has warrants for his arrest,” neighbor Shannon Warmington said. “When he thinks he’s going to jail, and that’s what he thinks now, he’s not going down.”

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