Authorities coax man down from 80-foot pole in Surprise

SURPRISE, AZ - A Tucson man is in custody after climbing an 80-foot light pole in Surprise and waving an upside-down American flag for more than three hours.

Surprise police say Michael Lewis-Arthur Meyer was examined by responding medical personnel after Thursday afternoon's incident at the Surprise Recreational Field, just north of the Surprise Stadium.

They say Meyer didn't express or exhibit any direct signs associated with experiencing a mental health crisis.

After being medically cleared, police say Meyer was booked into a Phoenix jail on suspicion of criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Police say Meyer made a variety of statements while standing on the platform near the top of the light pole that loosely referenced some advocating for veteran rights and his concern for the treatment of veterans.

Valley resident Susan Bishop didn't know anything about Meyer until she saw a picture of him on social media.

"He has a right to stand up. I believe in what he did and I don't believe he should sit in jail,” said Bishop.

"I think we need more people standing up and sending that message."

The city closed nearby recreation facilities including Surprise Community Park, the aquatics center, the stadium and the Kansas City auxiliary fields.

USA Swimming, lap swim, stroke school, swim lessons, guardstart and Babe Ruth League programs will also be rescheduled. Those with questions can contact the Recreation Services Office at 623-222-2000.

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