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Man climbs down from 80-foot sequoia after more than 24 hours in tree

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SEATTLE -- Hundreds of people paused on their way to work Wednesday to check out the man refusing to leave his perch near the top of an 80-foot sequoia tree in downtown Seattle.

Many pulled out their phones to take a photo of his silhouette against the gray, drizzling sky and marveled that he was still there nearly a full day after climbing up.

He finally climbed down just before noon Wednesday -- after more than 24 hours in the tree.

The man spent much of the morning reclining quietly in the upper branches, but he resumed gesticulating wildly and shouting when two police officers tried to talk to him from sixth-floor windows of the Macy's department store building next door.

Several streets were blocked offin the area of 4th Ave and Stewart.

Local chef Michelle Matsko gazed up at the man from underneath her red umbrella and wondered if he was trying to make a statement. She called his endurance impressive.

Another woman, Janice Wilson, repeatedly yelled to him: "We love you! Come down safely!"

No one knows why he climbed up there -- or what he wants, if anything.

Authorities were alerted to the unidentified man in the tree around 11 a.m. Tuesday and he was still clinging to its branches at 9a.m. Wednesday, more than 22 hours later.

"Issue appears to be between the man and the tree," Seattle police tweeted.

Seattle's "super hero" -- Phoenix Jones -- turned out late Tuesday night to try to help out. He tweeted that he would offer the #manintree a sandwich and a beer to entice him down.

Police and firetrucks blocked several streets in the area.

Authorities said the man wasn't being cooperative and at one point threw an apple and pine cones at paramedics and officers.

"Officers arrived at the scene, determined the man posed a danger to himself, pedestrians and motorists, and closed several surrounding streets. Police attempted to contact the man, but he refused to speak with officers," the Seattle Police Department said on its online crime blotter.

"During early attempts to contact the man, who appears to be suffering from a mental health crisis, he threw an apple, branches, pine cones and other items at officers on the street below, and claimed to be armed with a knife," SPD said. "Due to the 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.

"Once the incident is resolved, Seattle Department of Transportation officials will review the health of the approximately 80-foot sequoia tree, believed to have been in place since the 1970s," SPD said.

4th Ave & Stewart St, Seattle, WA