BIZARRE video shows how a self-claimed Reverend spent four hours on the top of a scaffolding – protesting the build is endangering foxes.
The “Reverend John” can be seen climbing onto the 13ft high scaffolding in Brighton, East Sussex, in flip flops and a brown robe.
Scaffolders and Police attempt to coax him down as the protester claimed he had “served his country” and didn’t want them to “take advantage of vulnerable animals.”
Managing director of the scaffolding firm, Steve Eason, posted the incident to Facebook on Tuesday following his altercation with the protester.
The 51-year-old captioned his post: “When a monk jumps on your scaff in a dress and flip flops to protest that we’ve put a scaff on a fox’s set.”
Steve can be seen holding the man trying to to stop him climb up as co-worker Lewis Brindley films the incident and tells the man he can’t climb up for his own safety.
The protestor can be heard shouting “That’s assault, that’s assault, call the police, call the police” before Steve lets go of him.
Steve and the other scaffolders from Seasons Scaffolding can be heard repeatedly telling the man the scaffolding is not safe for him to be up there.
He says: “There are foxes with three cubs each, there’s rens here and you have no permission. You get your paperwork. I’m calling the cops.”
In response to being told that residents were informed of the work being done, he says: “I live here, nobody’s been notified.”
When a passer-by asks him if he is ok, he says: “I’m protesting.”
One of the other scaffolders tells him he looks like a donut and he says: “You think I care what you think?”
He says: “The old bill cant get me. There are foxes and cubs, you took no notice of them.”
Steve said: “Get off before the police come, what are you some sort of idiot?”
He says: “I’m somebody who has served my country that doesn’t allow people like cowboys to go and take advantage of vulnerable animals.
“There are rens, birds and other insects.”
Facebook users were quick to share their thoughts on the clip.
Tony Berry wrote: “For Fox Sake mate.”
Ann Patricia Round wrote: “What an absolute pratt!”
Liam Stevens wrote: “Absolute lunatic. Needs locking up.”
Rob Wilton wrote: “Some people aint well in the head.”
Cliff Bishop suggested: “Should have pushed the silly c*** off and said he slipped.”
Speaking today Steve explained how the protester wanted the RSPCA to attend, but they didn’t show up.
He said: “I couldn’t believe how quickly he got up there in sandals.
“It was about three and a half to four hours that he was up there. He said he wanted an email or a letter from the RSPCA saying no animals were in danger.
“But they were quite happy with how we’d put the scaffolding up and they wouldn’t entertain the guy by sending someone out.
“In the background of the video you can hear my son Wade on the phone to the Police.
“They came about 15 minutes after that but they couldn’t go up because they aren’t trained to do things at height.”
Steve also explained how “Reverend John” eventually calmed down.
He added: “Eventually he came down when I explained to him exactly how the scaffolding was put up and that there was a bolt underneath for any animals.
“He was a completely different person when he came down and I showed it to him, he said: ‘you should have just told me that earlier’, I said: ‘you were too quick climbing up there mate’.
“Then he was very apologetic and said sorry for costing me so much money.
“He didn’t get arrested, he was just warned by police.”
Sussex Police say it took officers 45 minutes to get the man down after arriving on the scene.
A spokesman said: “A man protesting that building work in Ardingly Street, Kemp Town, Brighton, would disturb local birds and foxes climbed 16 feet up scaffolding to air his views in public.
“Police were called to the incident shortly before 9.30am on Tuesday (18 June) and the man was persuaded to climb down some 45 minutes later.
“With no criminal offences having been committed and no one hurt, the man was allowed to go on his way.”