Police: Wanted man in tree comes down, gets arrested

Our crew at the scene says the suspect was trying to break branches to make himself a better seat. Click to view larger

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) A fugitive caused quite the spectacle before finally surrendering to police.

He climbed a tree in east Colorado Springs and refused to come down for several hours.

Neighbors living on Lelaray Street, which is located near Union and Constitution, were forced to evacuate during the standoff. But that didn't stop a crowd from forming outside the crime tape line, cellphones in hand, snapping photos and videos.

"It's pretty crazy. He might as well give up; there's really no other way to get out of this," Tyrone Allen said while the suspect was still perched at the top of the tree.

Lt. Howard Black with the Colorado Springs Police Department said one of their biggest concerns during the standoff was the suspect hurting himself.

"That's why we've been out here for so long, just ensuring that he didn't fall out of the tree. Time is always on our side when dealing with these types of situations."

The suspect, identified Monday as 30-year-old Lane Malouff, was wanted on several warrants, including attempted murder. Black said Springs police received several tips Sunday on his whereabouts.

Black is still not sure why Malouff ended up in a tree.

"I don't know. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense."

Officers used tear gas and a fire hose to spray water on the suspect, among other tactics, to convince him to come down. Black said the water may have been what finally broke him.

11 News:"Did the water spraying kind of coerce him..he knew it would be more difficult?
Black:"I think that would be a correct statement. Once water was introduced -- and that wasn't to knock him down out of the tree, that was just to make him uncomfortable."

Howard said it ended well.

"We were able to end this situation peacefully. He made the decision to come down out of the tree."

11 News obtained an arrest affidavit for Malouff Monday morning, which detailed the alleged assault against his ex-girlfriend. According to the affidavit, Malouff violated a protection order by showing up at his ex's home in June. He then allegedly body slammed her, strangled her to keep her quiet, dragged her by the hair to a bed, then threw her on the bed and punched her four times. The affidavit then says Malouff put a knife to his ex's throat and threatened to kill her. The victim briefly managed to escape, only for Malouff to catch her and drag her back into the house by the hair, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit says the couple's three children, all under the age of 10, were in the home when the attack was going on.