A Minneapolis man has been charged with dropping dumbbells, furniture and other items from his ninth-floor balcony onto vehicles passing by his downtown apartment building, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
Michael B. Judy, 29, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with two felony counts of first-degree property damage for allegedly aiming an array of heavy objects at vehicles driving by the building in the 300 block of S. Washington Avenue.
None of the items injured anyone but multiple vehicles were damaged, the charges noted.
"It appeared to officers that [Judy] was purposely targeting vehicles below as they passed on the street and would wait to throw the items until a vehicle was approaching," the criminal complaint read. "Officers have serious safety concerns as [the] apartment ... is approximately 115 feet up, and a weighted object falling from that distance could lead to a risk of great bodily harm or death to passing motorists, [a] bicyclist or pedestrians."
Judy was arrested Thursday and released Friday after posting a $10,000 bond. He's due in court on Feb. 6.
In an interview Tuesday with the Star Tribune, Judy denied the allegations.
"I think it's ridiculous," he said. "I wasn't even home at the time."
He speculated that "it could have been a neighbor or it could have been somebody above me" who carried out the acts.
The incidents came as Judy was facing eviction last week for failing to pay more than $11,000 in rent since he moved into his unit in July. Judy said he's since paid up and still lives there.
Christopher McChane said he was stopped in his car at a red light on northbound S. 3rd Avenue at Washington Avenue early in the evening on Jan. 3 when "something slammed into the hood about a foot from the windshield. I figured it was ice off the building. It was windy that day."
A moment later, McChane continued, another item fell to the street just to the right of his car.
McChane, visiting the Twin Cities for a few days with his wife from West Union, Iowa, said he saw shards of what looked like ceramic on the street to his left, and "there were cookie crumbs on the hood. So I assumed it was a cookie jar."
He said his wife was in the passenger seat and "started rolling down the window to see what was going on. I'm like, 'No, no, no. Roll the window up.'"
McChane said he has filed a claim with his insurance company for the damaged hood. In order to make sure his reason for the claim was legitimate, "I sent them the police report," he said.
According to the charges:
Five calls were made to 911 from Jan. 3 to Jan. 5 about dumbbell weights among various large objects being dropped from an apartment balcony.
On Jan. 4 shortly before midnight, an airport shuttle vehicle with seven passengers was hit on the roof by a 3-pound dumbbell. A city street surveillance camera zoomed in and captured someone on Judy's balcony about that time.
"The driver reported being terrified, and a passenger stated the weight hit right above where he was sitting," the complaint read. One 911 caller reported nearly being hit by a table and chair.
The surveillance video recorded a man purported to be Judy dropping a wine bottle, a cordless drill, a coffee maker, a coffee pot and a milk jug. The man in the video had tattoos "consistent with" those depicted in Judy's photo on his driver's license.
Judy's criminal history in Minnesota spans his entire adult life and includes pleading guilty in 2012 to drive-by shooting and property damage in connection with being one of three people accused of shooting BBs at dozens of car windows and a home in Rochester.
He's also been convicted numerous times for domestic assault as well as theft, harassment and disorderly conduct.