Local News

Durham Man Climbs Tree After Argument

Posted June 5, 2000

— Police say a 20-year-old Durham man climbed a 40-foot magnolia tree Tuesday night after getting in an argument with someone at the Alta Crest Apartments just east of Highway 15-501 off Watkins Road.

The man, who has not been identified, was a "trusted friend and employee" of a family that lived in the apartments, according to a member of that family.

The same family member says the man was at the apartment, began acting "inappropriately" and was asked to leave. A short time later an 8-year-old member of the family took out the garbage and was grabbed by the man.

The man was given the opportunity to let the child go, according to the family member, but refused, so police were called.

The child was dragged by the shirt about 75 yards to the tree and was still being held when police arrived on the scene, according to the child's father, who says the child was released when the K-9 dogs arrived.

The child suffered some minor cuts and bruises, but was OK.

The man -- who several witnesses say had problems in the past with drugs and alcohol -- was taken toDuke University Medical Centerfor an mental evaluation. Pending the outcome of the evaluation, he could face kidnapping charges.

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