Man climbs onto stranger’s roof while fleeing police

Jon Johnson File Photo: Safford officers had to retrieve a man off a stranger’s roof after he attempted to hide from them by climbing onto it. 

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – This Angel went up, but he couldn’t fly away.

Angel Montano was apprehended in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Sept. 5, after climbing onto a residential roof while fleeing from police.

According to a Safford Police report, an officer was on patrol in the area of E. 4th Street and Gila Avenue at about 12:25 a.m. when he saw a man quickly jump on a bike and pedal down E. 3rd Street.

The officer pursued and located the bike behind a resident’s trash can but could not find the man, later identified as Montano.

A couple of boards were located laying against the residence’s chain link fence and officers scoured the area. With County Dispatch failing to reach the last known residents’ of the home, the officer decided to enter the backyard to make sure Montano didn’t break into the house.

While in the backyard, the officer noticed a ladder propped up against the side of the house and soon discovered Montano lying down in the roof.

The officer held Montano at gunpoint until another officer arrived and escorted him off the roof.

Montano allegedly denied any wrongdoing but couldn’t give a reason why he ran from the officer. Montano reportedly has a history of running from police and ditching contraband in the process, however, no illegal items were found in the area.

Due to the inability to contact the owners of the residence, Montano was released but was advised if the owners decided to press charges he would face criminal trespassing.

When he was released, Montano began to walk away and leave the bicycle the officer saw him riding. When questioned about it, Montano didn’t have any care for the bike and continued to walk away.

The officer then asked if Montano had stolen the bike, to which he did not get a response. The bicycle was then taken back to the Safford Police Department for safekeeping. Additional potential charges of theft against Montano are pending a victim coming forward to claim the bike if it was indeed stolen.