Maine Police Arrest Man Impersonating a Tree

Maine Police Arrest Man Impersonating a Tree

Maine Police Arrest Man Impersonating a Tree

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A man in Portland, Maine, was arrested on Monday afternoon for obstructing traffic — while dressed as a tree.

Asher A. Woodworth, 30, was covered in evergreen branches and standing in the middle of a busy intersection in the heart of Portland’s arts district when police arrived. Initially, the officers just assisted him in walking over to the sidewalk and issued him a simple warning to stop blocking the road.

Woodworth remained silent during the encounter.

“I’ll accept your silence as you understand. You’re free to go. Stay out of the roads,” an officer told Woodworth, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Immediately after police let him go however, the human tree walked right back into the middle of the intersection and continued what he was doing. The Portland Police arrested him shortly after.

The strange scene was captured on video by the managing editor of local station WCSH, who uploaded it to Twitter. In the 20-second clip, officers are seen walking Woodworth back to the sidewalk and attempting to remove the branches that were covering his face.

The department has stated that he was not holding a sign, distributing any flyers or protesting any specific cause — he was simply impersonating an evergreen to see how it might “impact people’s natural choreography.”

“His motivation was to see how people would react to what he called his ‘performance’ and how he might impact ‘people’s natural choreography,’ ” Assistant Police Chief Vern Malloch said Asher A. Woodworth told the Press Herald.

Woodworth has now been charged with a Class E misdemeanor for obstructing a public way. He was released shortly after on a $60 bond.

“It happens from time to time,” Malloch said of Woodworth’s interesting performance. “People do bizarre things because they want to get arrested. We’re still not sure if he was trying to make a statement.”