Standoff in a tree: Local man climbs up branches to escape police


LORAIN, Ohio (WJW) — Police say a fugitive running from them tried to elude officers by climbing up a tree, and what followed was four hours of negotiations, as authorities tried to convince the suspect to come down. 

Fred Golson Jr. 20, was being sought by police in Elyria, Lorain and North Ridgeville on a variety of outstanding arrest warrants, including one for a parole violation, and another for failing to show up for court. Investigators say Golson is also considered a suspect in several shootings.

A Lorain police sergeant spotted Golson earlier this week, and chased him through several backyards on West 23rd Street. Golson then decided to climb up a tree, that was quickly surrounded by police from Lorain and Elyria. Elyria Police Captain Bill Pelko told FOX 8, “When we first got there, he told us to make a bed because we’re going to be there for a while, and we tried talking him down, get him to come down and he wouldn’t come down.”

Elyria police had been looking for Golson since June 15, when they say he led officers on a high speed chase that they eventually had to call off in Lorain, because Golson was allegedly driving so fast and recklessly on busy city streets.

As police attempted to negotiate with Golson from his perch in the tree, they kept reminding him that as a result of the serious charges he was facing, they were not going to leave until he was under arrest.

“He was screaming ‘All Lives Matter’ to us, he was screaming ‘Black Lives Matter’ and we agreed with him, we said ‘yeah, we did and we’re not going to hurt you, we want you to come down. It’s safe; we don’t want anybody to get hurt,’ and he just wasn’t listening and he wasn’t going to budge,” said Captain Pelko.

Police decided to summon the Lorain Fire Department to the scene, and after putting several ladders up the tree, they cut down several branches that limited Golson’s ability to move around. After four hours of talking, officers eventually climbed the ladders and were able to bring Golson down, and place him under arrest.

Elyria police say, in this case, their patience paid off. “Nobody got hurt, and everything went as planned, and everybody got to go home to see their family and the bad guy went to jail,” said Captain Pelko.

Golson is now facing new charges of obstruction and resisting arrest.

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