Police negotiate for 13 hours with man in tree in Madison County


LONDON, Ohio (WCMH) — Law enforcement officers negotiated for more than 13 hours with a man who climbed up a tree to avoid police.

According to a London, Ohio police Facebook post, officers responded to a report of a vehicle crashed on the railroad tracks near South Main Street in London at approximately 1:35 a.m. Wednesday.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found an abandoned and disabled car stuck on the rails. While looking for the driver, officers heard noise nearby, which is when they saw William (Jack) Taylor, 40, of Columbus, screaming.

According to police, Taylor climbed onto the roof of a home, and then into a pine tree, where he was approximately 45 feet above the ground. Taylor did not respond to officer commands.

Officers from the London Police Department as well as the Columbus FBI field office negotiated with Taylor to try to get him to climb out of the tree on and off for more than 13 hours.

Due to the height of the tree, negotiations had to be conducted via the bucket of a London Fire Department ladder truck.

At approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday, police said Taylor was able to start a fire in the tree with a lighter, at which point, he climbed down.

Taylor was arrested without further incident. He has been charged with inducing panic, aggravated trespassing, arson, and obstructing official business.

Due to the tree’s proximity to several electrical wires, electric service was interrupted for a few hours to homes and a manufacturing plant nearby.

Taylor is being held at the Tri-County Jail pending arraignment in Madison County Municipal Court.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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