Man climbs down Queens tree after spending more than 2 days up there

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Saturday, October 9, 2021
Man climbs down Queens tree after spending more than 2 days up there
After more than 52 hours, a man has come down from his perch in a tree in Queens.

BROOKVILLE, Queens (WABC) -- After more than 52 hours, a man has come down from his perch in a tree in Queens.

According to Eyewitness News Reporter Stacey Sager, police brought food for Roody Thomas around 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Thomas climbed down from the tree and retrieved the food, but climbed right back up.

Around 5 p.m. he clambered out of the tree and onto the roof of his mother's house and then climbed inside a window.

Thomas climbed the tree following an argument with his mother.

A criminal complaint filed his mother, 65-year-old Irlande Defailly, states that she got into a verbal dispute with the 44-year-old Thomas, at her home on 145th Street home in the Brookville section around 12:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

According to the complaint, during the dispute he told her 'I am going to kill you.'

When responding police officers arrived, Thomas climbed up onto the roof of the home and later clambered into a tree, where he remains.

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Authorities, neighbors, and friends had been negotiating with Thomas to get him to come down ever since.

He has shouted that he did not want to go back to jail, saying he was abused behind bars.

In 2012, Thomas filed a lawsuit claiming that in 2008 he was assaulted by a captain and as many as 10 other officers at Rikers Island.

The lawsuit has gone through the legal system and its final disposition is unclear.

There is also a warrant out for Thomas' arrest after he allegedly assaulted his 50-year-old girlfriend.

Police said the two were in his white BMW in Laurelton back on September 30 when they got into an argument.

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According to police, Thomas was driving when he struck her in the face, causing pain and swelling to her chin or jaw.

"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."

"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."


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