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Home » Criminal Law » Seattle’s #ManInTree Came Down and Went to Jail

Seattle’s #ManInTree Came Down and Went to Jail

Seattle's man in the tree stand's against a night skyWhat have YOU heard about the #ManInTree?

Well he’s down.

If you’re not in the know about the spectacle that had Seattle’s police on edge for almost 25 hours earlier this week, pop open that wine you’ve been saving and pull up a chair, because you’re about to hear the tale of the man in the tree.

The Giant Sequoia Tree of Seattle

Out west, they’ve got these huge friggin trees called Sequoias, and some brave guy in Seattle climbed a special one — an icon of Seattle — their downtown Giant Sequoia Tree. They cover it in lights during the holiday season (which kind of puts Rockefeller’s to shame in a big way). I won’t say exactly how tall it is but, based on various sources, I’d guess somewhere between 70 and 100 feet.

Climbing a giant tree by the Macy’s in downtown Seattle attracted attention from nearby pedestrians, surrounding traffic, and people in looking out the windows of the huge Macy’s building. They all got concerned as the man, ignoring their calls, climbed to the top and silently refused to climb down.

Someone called the cops (or, I mean, probably police officers were just around) and it became a “thing.” It was discussed at one point that they couldn’t just get him down with trampolines and tranquilizer guns, like a bear. The safest route was the most tedious: negotiate with the man building a nest at the top of a 70-100 foot tree.
Seattle's man in the tree talks to a cop on a crane

It was tedious because he refused to talk… not even with Crane Cop.

The Malicious Mischief of Bird Person

What followed was a contest of discipline: the Seattle Police Department’s patience against Bird Person’s endurance. I mean, Tree Man. Do we know his name yet?

Turns out we do! The endurance of Cody Lee Miller (I got him mixed up with Bird Person from that cartoon about a scientist who cusses out his grandson in space — Nick and Morgy).

Anyways, the patience of the Seattle police won. But not without casualties. While roosting in his nest, Miller showered officers with projectiles, such as apples, branches, and pinecones. One officer’s ear was injured by one of a pinecone, after which he confirmed that it was “rock hard.” Other victims of his barrage included a handful pedestrians and cars. The rate of casualties greatly decreased after officers used yellow tape to keep onlookers away from Miller’s strike range.

At some point, he was trending on social media as #ManInTree. And it baffles me, but he also managed to let himself fall asleep that night in that nest he made. All the while, witnesses looked on, shouting everything from jeers to encouragement. Some folks, not pleased with the attention Seattle police officers were giving Miller’s spectacle, expressed their frustrations at what they considered to be a waste of time and resources.

On Wednesday, Miller safely climbed down of his own volition. I guess he either accomplished whatever his goal was, gave in to exhaustion, or got bored.

After a brief rest at the base of the tree, he was taken into custody and given a mental-health evaluation at Harbourview Medical Center. According to police, the test went smoothly, and medical professionals affirmed that Cody Lee Miller was fit to go to jail. The Seattle Police Department booked him on investigation to see whether there’s probable cause for malicious mischief — a misdemeanor.

Investigation of Criminal Misdemeanors

Considering how the man in the tree interfered with traffic, caused the quarantine of a public area, wasted police resources, hurt people with pinecones, damaged cars, and refused to negotiate for almost 25 hours, it’s safe to assume that he’s probably getting those malicious mischief charges. The man in the tree also has a criminal record, so he also shouldn’t be surprised if malicious mischief isn’t the only crime he’s found guilty of.

Cody Lee Miller’s chances of getting away with minimum charges basically hinge on the skill of his attorney. If he chooses to self-represent, is assigned a weak court-appointed lawyer, or is unable to obtain the representation of a better one, the unfortunately likely outcome for his situation is that he comes out in worse shape than he went in. Especially if the mental-health evaluation proved that he’s totally sane.

In any misdemeanor case, regardless of the specific charges, those accused should not assume that there’s no point in seeking legal representation. Things have a tendency to get pretty nasty in the courtroom, and it doesn’t pay to take risks when it comes to your future. At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our team of attorneys has years of experience working with clients across a wide range of criminal misdemeanor cases. The sooner you take action, the better your chances, so don’t wait! Call today, or go online to set up your free initial consultation, and meet with a skilled lawyer who’s ready and waiting to guide you toward the justice you deserve.

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