Two lovers--a transgendered woman in a black dress and a teenage boy wearing only a pair of shorts--said they were protesting their families' lack of understanding of their relationship when they climbed a tree in New York City's Central Park on Thursday, stripped, and performed oral sex in front of onlookers, refusing to come down for hours.
The lovers, ages 32 and 17, scaled the 55-foot larch tree next to the Chess and Checkers House around 4 p.m., said Det. John Sweeney, a police department spokesman. The couple had told the boy's parents about their relationship and been rebuked, police said. The transgendered woman played on branches near the top of the tree and waved at onlookers while the boy sat quietly a few feet below. Police said the woman later performed oral sex on the boy and stripped down to a thong to taunt them. Police were alerted to the mischief when an onlooker flagged down a bicycle officer.
When Emergency Services Unit officers responded, "the two individuals began to shout obscenities to the approaching officers, threatening to push the officers down and throw branches at them in an effort to ward the officers off," police inspector William Callahan said. The two were in danger of falling because the tree's largest branches were only four inches thick and couldn't support their weight for long, said police, who set up an inflatable safety mat on the ground.
Police negotiators who went up the tree to talk the couple down gave them soft drinks and water. A crowd of about 100 onlookers stood nearby. After about five hours, police put harnesses on the two and began to coax them down. The names of the two individuals were not immediately released. The couple were taken to a hospital for evaluation, and Callahan said arrests and criminal charges depended on the outcomes of those evaluations. No one was injured in the bizarre Earth Day stunt, Callahan said. "When I heard they were in a tree," he said, "I figured it was very fitting."