A man accused of assaulting his girlfriend and threatening to kill his mother in New York’s Queens neighborhood is in a single, multi-day standoff with police. He simply climbed a tree outside his house and refused to come down.
The incident began on Wednesday afternoon, when police were reportedly called to the home of Roody Thomas, 44, due to a domestic disturbance in which he allegedly threatened his 65-year-old mother. He first went to the roof of his house to escape capture, then jumped into a 30-foot tree nearby as other police units arrived to encourage his surrender.
More than two days later, he remained in the tree, with the streets blocked to traffic as police, friends and neighbors tried unsuccessfully to get him out of his branch. Some even offered him beer or rum to go down, according to the New York Daily News, but on Thursday night he apparently started to appreciate the attention, saying: “Now the world is watching. “
Me Tarzan. You cops. Unbalanced man wanted for threatening his mother and assaulting his girlfriend climbed a tree in Queens to avoid the cops – and he’s been there for over 24 hours https://t.co/TDMlniaLhv
– New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) October 8, 2021
The Daily News quoted neighbors as saying the police response was “Exaggerated” and that Thomas did not threaten anyone, apparently ignoring the accusation that he told his elderly mother he would kill her. Residents also defended him as non-violent, despite the fact that he was also wanted for punching his 50-year-old girlfriend in the face.
Another neighbor told the newspaper that the police “Hold the guy hostage” add, ” He does nothing. It’s not illegal to climb your own tree in your backyard, guys. This view apparently ignored the fact that the police were trying to arrest Thomas for assault, not tree climbing.
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The suspect is said to be afraid of going back to prison because he was allegedly ill-treated by police during his incarceration in 2012. Neighbors said he often climbed the tree, near his mother’s house, where he lives .
New York Police Department chaplain Reba Perry, who lives in the same neighborhood, confirmed the statements. “It’s something he does regularly”, Perry told local ABC News affiliate WABC-TV. “He goes up the tree. It is not uncommon for it to be in the tree. He’s from Haiti. They climb trees.
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WABC-TV reporter Stacey Sager said Thomas climbed halfway down the tree on Friday afternoon to pick up food brought to him by police and then climbed back up to his perch. The media said he then climbed onto the roof of his mother’s house and through a window, but police are still reportedly waiting for him to surrender.
UPDATE: Hidden in a tree in Queens for over 50 hours now, Roody Thomas, 44, has just come down. For alimentation. Then save. There are 2 criminal complaints against him, he has emotional issues and the NYPD is trying to wait successfully. Full update to 5. @ABC7NYpic.twitter.com/yTXu1xtAzw
– Stacey Sager (@staceysager7) October 8, 2021
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