Man who claimed he was pushed from roof citedArea News
-- According to a 2 ½ week police investigation, a 23-year-old Hudson man lied when he said he was shoved off the downtown roof of Steve’s Pizza Palace.
By: Phil Pfuehler, Pierce County Herald
According to a 2 ½ week police investigation, a 23-year-old Hudson man lied when he said he was shoved off the downtown roof of Steve’s Pizza Palace.
Andrew S. Jacobson, 846 Badlands Road, was cited last week for criminal damage to property ($240 fine) and trespassing ($177 fine). He will have his day in municipal court at 1:30 p.m. Monday, July 18.
As for restitution, Jacobson will be asked to pay a $1,000 deductible on the insurance claim for repairing Steve’s Pizza’s metal awning.
That awning was split open just before 1:30 a.m. Friday, June 1. Jacobson was found on his back under the gaping canopy, bleeding from a head wound. He was stitched up later at the hospital.
At the time it was thought that the awning slowed the momentum of Jacobson’s plunge from the roof -- possibly saving his life.
Jacobson claimed to be chasing a thief who’d stolen a wallet and cellphone from a female friend at next-door Boomer’s Bar.
Jacobson said he caught and confronted the male suspect on the roof, and that the man pushed him over the edge, causing Jacobson to break through the awning and strike the sidewalk more than 20 feet below.
Police investigator John Wilson worked the case. There were few good leads until a witness stepped forward early last week.
The witness said he was at Boomer’s and had stepped outside on Main Street for a smoke. There, he saw a man standing on the crosspieces of the Steve’s Pizza awning.
The man was talking to a woman on the sidewalk. She was telling him to get down.
The witness said the man -- later identified as Jacobson -- either did something intentional with his feet or lost his balance and caved through the awning.
Surveillance video from Steve’s later showed Jacobson landing on his feet before tumbling to the sidewalk.
In the police report the witness says he’s 100% sure of what he saw, and that he didn’t see Jacobson being pushed, nor did he see anyone else on the roof above the awning.
When asked why he waited so long to come forward, the witness said he didn’t want to be labeled a “snitch.”
Wilson replied that helping solve a potential crime was more important than worrying about a label.
After this development, Wilson tried but was unable to reach Jacobson by phone.
He finally drove to where Jacobson works at US Bank in Hudson.
Questioned there, Jacobson allegedly didn’t refute or argue with the witness’s story.
When asked if this was because of his intoxication (reportedly a .29 blood alcohol content level), his head injury or that he didn’t wish to remember, Jacobson allegedly told Wilson he didn’t have an answer.
He was then issued the two citations.
River Falls Police Sgt. Jon Aubart made these observations
--This was potentially a serious case, a potential attempted homicide, with a suspect accused of pushing a victim from a rooftop more than 20 feet to the sidewalk below.
--Despite this scenario, officers got little cooperation from people who either knew Jacobson or from others who had contact with him downtown that night.
--The lack of cooperation also extended to Boomer’s Bar management. Police asked for the bar’s surveillance video to check patrons involved in a dance-floor disturbance that led to the woman’s missing wallet and cellphone.
Aubart said the bar staff promised to burn a copy of the surveillance video but later claimed the system wasn’t working.
He added this isn’t the first time that Boomer’s surveillance system “has mysteriously malfunctioned.”
--Surveillance video across the alley from the police station shows a man in clothing that Jacobson wore climb the low roof on the backside of Steve’s Pizza.
--Some eight minutes later, and probably while Jacobson was being treated on Main Street by local paramedics after falling, another male suspect came down the alley and climbed the same roof.
Aubart said this unidentified man may be who Jacobson argued with earlier in the night and accused of the wallet/cellphone theft. Jacobson may also have yelled at this man from the rooftop.
Aubart said the man, not realizing Jacobson had already fallen, may have decided to come up on the roof to go after Jacobson.
Another possibility, Aubart added, was that the man was a friend who climbed the roof merely to get Jacobson to come safely back down.
Phil Pfuehler is editor for the River Falls Journal.