Officials respond to report of man on roof of United Bank Building
PARKERSBURG — Emergency personnel responded to the United Bank Building late Wednesday morning to a report of a person sitting on the edge of the roof at the top of the building.
Radio reports from the scene, at around 11 a.m., said a report was called in from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield that someone was on top of the building, sitting on the edge with their legs dangling over.
The Parkersburg Police Department, the Parkersburg Fire Department, the West Virginia State Police and an ambulance from Camden Clark responded to the scene. Many people inside the building were constantly looking out windows to see what was happening. Police were dispatched at 10:54 a.m. and they arrived on the scene at 10:55 a.m.
Lt. Greg Collins of the Parkersburg Police Department said they responded with several officers since it was a large area to check out.
“We had a large area to cover,” Collins said. “(The man) was in an area he was not supposed to be in and that caused some concern,” he said. “There was never anything said or done that raised anyone’s level of awareness or concern, other than to find him and see what his issue was.”
Police did a search of the building. Some areas they did not search because people were already occupying those areas.
“We finally got video confirmation with a time stamp that he actually left the building,” Collins said. “He was no longer in there. It was basically someone who was in an area they weren’t supposed to be in.”
Officials believe he was able to leave the building before the full police response was on the scene.
Police also searched to make sure there were no other possible concerns relating to the safety of the building.
“Everybody is comfortable here now,” Collins said around noon on Wednesday. “It is as simple as a guy being where he was not supposed to be. With the concerns these days, you can’t take it too lightly.”
Collins said their initial response might have seemed like a big response, but there was a large area to search.
“We wanted to make sure we covered it thoroughly and protected everybody here,” he said.
There was not any kind of threat given to cause safety concerns for the building.
The individual got on the roof through a door a maintenance group was using to do some work.
The maintenance crews asked what he was doing there.
“He apparently said he ‘was clearing his head’ and smoking a cigarette,” Collins said. “That was it.”
Building personnel were alerted and also called the police.
The individual did not work in the building, police said. The individual’s name is not known at this time.
Police cleared the roof and other areas. They couldn’t immediately locate him. Police checked other floors and areas he might have accessed.
There were many areas locked out by inhouse security.
They checked with the security company, they checked their cameras and confirmed the man left by the front door on his own.
Police had a call on the individual earlier that day at the Blennerhassett Hotel, but Collins said that was more out of people’s concern about the man’s well being. He did not do anything specific to warrant a call to the police.
Police are now familiar with how he looks and police want to talk to him.
“We are going to keep an eye out for him in the area,” Collins said. “We are going to keep an eye out in the area for him and see what his situation is and why he was in an area he was not supposed to be in.”
Police and fire crews cleared the scene at 12:09 p.m.