A Brownwood police officer watched, unobserved, as a man laid down next to a tree Wednesday afternoon in an area known for drug trafficking.

The man stuck his arm into the tree’s hallowed-out base and reached in up to his shoulder, a report by officer Patrick Sloan states.

Sloan showed himself, looked in the tree base and found pieces of crack cocaine.

The officer arrested Willard Thompson, 38, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, Sloan’s report states.

Thompson said he’d laid down in the back yard in the 500 block of Bailey to take a nap.

He denied any knowledge of the crack and told Sloan he had not stuck his arm in the tree, Sloan’s report states.

Sloan and Sgt. Tracey Delgado were patrolling the area around 4:30 p.m., looking for “suspicious activity” that had occurred in the area over the past several weeks.

Sloan had seen what appeared to be narcotics transactions previously in the area, and he had seen an individual flee every time he saw a police car in the area.

Sloan went on foot into an aqueduct to try to see where the person was running. Delgado drove by in her patrol car, and a man Sloan identified as Thompson walked behind a house, Sloan’s report states. After Delgado drove by, the man returned to the front of the house and walked away, looking back several times at Delgado’s patrol car.

Then Sloan saw the man go into the back yard and lie down by the tree. When Sloan approached the man, he got up and asked what was wrong, Sloan’s report states.

In other incidents:

Someone broke into Rock Enterprise, 612 W. Austin, and took computer equipment. Someone broke into a vehicle parked on the property and took the sound system, and cut the convertible top of another vehicle. Someone keyed a vehicle parked in the 1600 block of Avenue C.