Wed Feb 16 2011 (Updated 03/07/11) Indybay.org
Treesitter Midnight Matt Remains in Jail After Having Defended Himself
People's Park Treesitter Forced from Tree and Arrested for Attempted
Murder A nearly three-month treesit in People's Park in Berkeley ended in
the early morning hours of January 28th when Midnight Matt, the primary
sitter, was arrested on attempted murder charges. Reports have it that
drunken instigators, perhaps working with or looking to please the
Berkeley and/or UC police departments, climbed into the tree at night and
confronted Midnight Matt. Threats were made against Midnight Matt and he
tried to defend himself, demanding that the instigators leave the tree.
One of the instigators ended up with a cut on his hand. The confrontation
was then the justification BPD and UCPD used to call the Fire Department
and extract Midnight Matt from the tree around 3am that morning.
None of the instigators were charged at the time — they claimed to have
climbed into the tree to simply talk — but on February 7th one was
arrested for battery in a separate incident in the park. Midnight Matt's
charges were reduced to assault with a deadly weapon at his arraignment,
but he remains in Santa Rita jail with his bail set at $100,000.
Supporters are asking for donations to help make his $10,000 bond and for
a show of support in court. Midnight Matt's next court date is Thursday,
March 10th at 9am in Dept. 115 of the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.