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Tree-dwelling Queens man is finally talked down after THREE days by mental health volunteer

Man hiding from cops in a tree finally comes down after THREE DAYS thanks to NY mental health worker

  • Roody Thomas, 44, climbed up a tree in Queens and refused to come down for two days
  • He was coaxed down on Saturday afternoon by mental health volunteer Erica Ford, who also drove him to a hospital for a psychological evaluation
  • A warrant is out for Thomas’s arrest after he allegedly punched a 50-year-old woman who was in a car with him on September 30
  • Thomas shouted from the tree that he doesn’t want to go back to jail because he was abused there
  • It remains unclear if he was taken into custody after the psychological evaluation


A man who climbed up a tree in Queens and refused to come down for three days has been coaxed out of the branches with the help of a mental health volunteer, cops said.

Roody Thomas, 44, has been holed up in the tree, located near 145th avenue and 226th street in the Brooksville neighborhood of Queens, since Wednesday afternoon.

On Saturday, volunteer Erica Ford – founder of the mental health group Life Camp – helped police convince Thomas to climb back down. 

Ford then drove him to a local hospital for a psychological evaluation, according to the Daily News. It remains unclear if he was taken into custody or checked into a hospital.

Thomas has a warrant out for his arrest for allegedly punching a 50-year-old woman who was in a car with him on September 30

Thomas was holed up in the tree for more than 48 hours

The tree was located near 145th avenue and 226th street in the Brooksville neighborhood of Queens

The tree Thomas was holed up in for more than 48 hours was located near 145th avenue and 226th street in the Brooksville neighborhood of Queens

Mental health volunteer Erica Ford (pictured) helped police convince Thomas to climb back down on Saturday

Mental health volunteer Erica Ford (pictured) helped police convince Thomas to climb back down on Saturday

The 44-year-old man climbed into the tree after cops responded to a house call on Wednesday afternoon when his mother said he was 'threatening her'

The 44-year-old man climbed into the tree after cops responded to a house call on Wednesday afternoon when his mother said he was ‘threatening her’

He has a warrant out for his arrest for allegedly punching a 50-year-old woman who was in a car with him on September 30. 

Police officers, neighbors and even a priest stood under the tree urging Thomas to get down since the standoff began around 12:45pm Wednesday when his mother called the cops on him saying he was ‘threatening her’.

Police responded to the call and when they arrived at the home in Queens Thomas climbed onto the roof and into the tree. 

As Thomas peered through the branches he shouted that he doesn’t want to go back to jail, saying he was abused there.  

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

The street has been closed since Wednesday and his brother was among the many bystanders gathered around the tree Thursday afternoon, urging him to come down.

Thomas appeared content in the tree

He peered through the branches shouting that he doesn't want to go back to jail because he was abused there

Thomas appeared content in the tree and peered through the branches shouting that he doesn’t want to go back to jail because he was abused there

Roody Thomas, 44, climbed up a tree on Wednesday afternoon and refused to come down - until today when he was coaxed out of the branches with the help of a mental health volunteer

Roody Thomas, 44, climbed up a tree on Wednesday afternoon and refused to come down – until today when he was coaxed out of the branches with the help of a mental health volunteer

At one point - after spending more than 36 hours in the tree - he even smiled and waved at photographers

At one point – after spending more than 36 hours in the tree – he even smiled and waved at photographers

Police officers, neighbors and even a priest stood under the tree trying to get Thomas down

Police officers, neighbors and even a priest stood under the tree trying to get Thomas down

Thomas's brother is among those who showed up on Thursday to coax him down from his arboreal abode

Thomas’s brother is among those who showed up on Thursday to coax him down from his arboreal abode

Neighbor Shannon Warmington said that officers shouldn't let Thomas know a warrant is out for his arrest because he wouldn't come down if he knew

Neighbor Shannon Warmington said that officers shouldn’t let Thomas know a warrant is out for his arrest because he wouldn’t come down if he knew

‘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,’ one neighbor said before he decided to abandon his post in the tree earlier today. 

One officer said Thomas had quite the tree-hopping habit.

‘This is something that he does all the time,’ said NYPD Chaplain Dr Reba Perry, who is also a neighbor.  

The Chaplain’s unit ‘provides spiritual help and guidance’ to officers, according to the department.

‘He gets in the tree. It’s not unusual for him to be in the tree. He’s from Haiti. They climb trees,’ Perry added.

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