Man who transfixed the Internet by perching near the top of an 80-foot sequoia tree in a downtown shopping district for more than a day was charged on Monday with malicious mischief and assault over his treetop standoff.
Cody Lee Miller, 28, was arrested on suspicion of malicious mischief after a day-long confrontation with authorities who tried to cajole him down from the tree, located on public property in downtown Seattle, police said.
Miller spent about 25 hours in the tree, ignoring police efforts to coax him down for much of it and hurling apples and branches at responders.
The drama sparked intense interest online, with new Twitter accounts and the hashtag (hash)ManInTree trending on Twitter and Facebook.
A local TV station live-streamed video of him as he dozed, shouted and knocked around a stick.
"This caused an incalculable waste of time and services," King County prosecutor Stephen Herschkowitz wrote in the charging documents.
Miller was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and malicious mischief for allegedly causing roughly $7,800 in damage to the tree, which the city planted more than 40 years ago, the documents said.
Miller’s mother, Lisa Gossett, of Wasilla, Alaska, said she had not talked to her son for about five years when a friend called saying he was on the news.
She said she could hardly recognize him.
“There are all these people out there worried about the tree, but they’re not worried about him, the human,” she said. “He’s obviously sick.”
She added that he does not need jail, he needs help.
It was not clear whether Miller had obtained an attorney. His motivation in scaling the tree has not been explained.
A police statement during the standoff last Wednesday said Miller appeared to have been going through a personal crisis.
Miller is due to be arraigned on April 11, prosecutors said.
Watch video of his hearing below.