A suspected car thief in Regina, Saskatchewan had to be lured down from a tree with a taco. 980 CJME captured the delicate negotiation, as police with a K-9 unit, firefighters, EMS and neighbours watched and tried to reason with the tree climber, armed with a screwdriver and backpack.
A video, captured by CJME's Jessika Guse, shows police dealing with the tense situation. "You've wasted enough our time now," one officer complains to the tree man.
Officials said the man climbed the tree on the 700 block of Garnet Street around 11:45 AM after officers followed him. The agile fellow was suspected of stealing a vehicle, and police tracked him after spotting him on a bike. After about 45 minutes of trying to get the man down from the tree (likely an elm), a crisis negotiator arrived on the scene.
The suspect could be heard shouting things like, "Shoot me" and "I'll stab you." After three hours, there were around 15 uniformed and plainclothes police officers watching the man in the tree like characters out of a Robert Munsch story. The man could be seen yawning, stretching, smoking cigarettes and apparently thinking about how hungry he was. Stress will do that.
While officers were trying to figure out what to do next, CJME reports, "concerned parents were talking to each other nearby in the alley about how they hoped the police could wrap it up soon because kids were about to come home from school."
And then, a hero emerged: Witnesses report a woman could be heard yelling at the tree man from a nearby alley. She said she brought him an Indian taco, a prairie favourite. The fried bread treats decked out with all manner of taco filling are truly irresistible. Apparently the man said he was hungry at some point during the standoff. As the taco-wielding woman explained to the CJME reporter, "He says to the cop, 'I'm hungry … So I said I would get him something to eat … I went and grabbed an Indian taco from The Bannock House and I brought it the officer and he went and gave it to him."
The negotiator stepped in at this point, no doubt feeling inferior compared to the power of fried bread, sour cream and beef. The man came down from the tree and onto a garage roof. Police told him to keep his hands up while he walked towards them and was later arrested. There is no word on whether the man was allowed to actually eat the promised taco.
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