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Man With Rifle Upset With Forced Tree Removal

The man, while holding an unloaded rifle, yelled at a tree-removal company employee to get out of his tree the City of Greenfield deemed hazardous.

Updated 4:15 p.m. Jan. 30

Crews from a local tree service company got an unexpected scare when they were sent to a Greenfield home to remove a tree last week.

According to the Greenfield Police Department report, the company visited a home in the 9500 block of West Van Beck Avenue just after noon Jan. 24, to remove a hazardous tree on behalf of the City of Greenfield.

Employees told police as crew members worked on the tree, a 53-year-old resident came out of his home with a rifle and told an employee to, “Get the (expletive) out of my tree.”

The employee told police he tried engaging the man in conversation while he got out of the tree as quickly as possible.

Another employee told police he saw the man inside the house standing at the window with the rifle.

While detained, the man told police he was upset with the city and the city forester, whom he said sent him a letter notifying him he had 30 days to remove the tree. He said he tried to call the city forester to discuss the matter but never heard back from him.

Division of Public Works Superintendent Dan Ewert said the man was first notified Oct. 9, and had more than 90 days to remove the tree on his own. Ewert said the letter the man received had Ewert's name and number on it as well, but the man never attempted to contact him.

The man admitted to police he got upset when he came home and saw the workers cutting down the tree, and that he held his unloaded rifle when he shouted, “Get the hell out of my yard. You have no business on my property.”

Meanwhile, between when the man came outside with his rifle and police arrived, he called the Department of Public Works in an effort to reach the city forester. A DPW employee told police the man said during the phone conversation, “The guy is lucky I didn’t shoot him out of the tree.”

The man was cited for disorderly conduct while armed.

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