Burglary suspect hides in tree causing train travel chaos

Ruth Doherty
Man in tree hanging over rail line causes travel chaos
Man in tree hanging over rail line causes travel chaos

A man has been removed from a tree hanging over a railway line after an 18-hour stand-off with police that caused travel chaos in south eastLondon.

The burglary suspect ran up the tree in Charlton at around 2am causing major travel disturbance.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police spent around 18 hours trying to persuade the man to come down.

The Metropolitan Police helicopter was also called to the scene.

A spokeswoman for the southeastern trains earlier told Wharf.co.uk: "It's having quite a big impact. Diversions and cancellations are in place on the route through Woolwich Arsenal and Charlton.

"We've arranged for passengers' tickets to be accepted on DLR and buses to get round the incident because the train overhangs the line."

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson told the IB Times: "Police were called to reports of an attempted burglary at a commercial unit on the Stone Lake Retail Park, SE7, at 1.50am on 13 August.

"On arrival, officers identified a suspect and began a pursuit which also involved the Metropolitan Police's Air Support Unit, during which the man was observed running close to rail lines.

"The suspect subsequently climbed a tree next to the rail lines off Barney Close."

Chief Inspector Jenny Gilmer, of the British Transport Police, issued a statement after the incident was resolved. According to the Evening Standard, she said: "Shortly after 7pm on Wednesday 13 August, a man was talked down from a tree near to the rail line at Charlton.

"The man had been in the tree since the early hours of the morning and his return to the ground marked the end of a difficult and lengthy operation involving British Transport Police, Met Police, London Fire and Rescue, Network Rail and Southeastern Trains.

"The 32-year-old man was subsequently arrested on suspicion of burglary and obstruction of trains with intent and he remains in police custody."

A number of passengers tweeted about the incident. David Carrington wrote: "Train delay due to man in tree over track at Charlton. Driver - "if you look to the right you should be able to see him" #southeastern."

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