Hudson man who claimed he was pushed from roof cited
According to a two-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 in River Falls.
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., 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 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 percent 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 high level of intoxication, 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.