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Fargo man could face trespass charge after fall from Civic Center roof

UPDATED 1:19 p.m.

UPDATED 1:19 p.m.

FARGO - Police say a 29-year-old Fargo man is probably lucky to be alive after falling from the roof of the Fargo Civic Center early Thursday.

An officer on patrol came to the corner of Fourth Street North and Third Avenue just after 1 a.m. and saw a 23-year-old Fargo man standing on the sidewalk, apparently gesturing or talking to someone above him, Lt. Pat Claus said.

The officer looked up and saw the suspect hanging from the edge of the Civic Center's roof near the northwest corner of the building - right across the street from Fargo police headquarters.

The suspect apparently lost his grip and fell 20 to 25 feet, striking a metal handrail, flipping over and hitting the concrete, Claus said.


Sgt. Bill Ahlfeldt said the man was taken to MeritCare Hospital for a head injury, but the extent of his injuries was unknown.

"When I was on scene, he was alert, talking. He wanted to get up and walk around. Obviously we did not let him do that," Ahlfeldt said. "He did have a pretty good cut to his head, a pretty good gash on the top of his head, at the time."

Police don't believe it was a suicide attempt, and alcohol appears to be a factor in the incident, Claus said.

The suspect's name was not released. A complaint likely will be sent to the city attorney's office to review for a potential charge of criminal trespass, Claus said.

The preliminary investigation indicates that the other man may have been on the roof with the suspect at some point, he said.

Police "don't have any clue" why one or both of the men were on the roof, he said.

"It would appear from our investigation that the suspects possibly utilized the roof of the skyway system to get on the roof," he said.

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