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Man arrested after climbing onto roof at apartment complex

MORGANTOWN — A man was arrested Tuesday morning after climbing onto the roof of a building in the Villas apartment complex on Stewartstown Road.

Monongalia County sheriff’s deputies responded to the location just after 8:30 a.m. and arrested Zachary Spacht, 36. After initially searching for the suspect on the building’s roof with the help of maintenance workers, deputies located Spacht in an apartment.

The resident of that apartment spoke to The Dominion Post about the incident on the basis of anonymity out of concern for their own safety.

“I work night shift and I just got home and had some breakfast, unwinding, going to bed … and I hear a knock on my door,” the resident said.

Looking through the peephole, the resident thought they recognized Spacht as a neighbor, and opened the door to speak with him. Spacht claimed to have forgotten his keys, and asked to climb over to his own apartment from the resident’s balcony.

“I’m like, ‘Yeah, no problem.’ He comes in, he goes out and climbs along the roof of the building and … I see him climbing through the window of what I assumed was his apartment. He seemed to know his way in there,” the resident said.

The resident went back to bed, but about 15 minutes later, they heard footsteps running on the roof, followed by a loud thud close by.

The resident walked back into the living room and saw Spacht on their balcony. Saying the police were after him, he asked to come back inside the apartment until the officers left.

“This is when I start getting a little nervous because I’m not sure what’s going on, I’m not sure if he has anything on him,” the resident said. Hoping to avoid a confrontation, they let Spacht back into the apartment.

The resident said Spacht asked them not to answer the door, to stay quiet, and took their phone and started making calls and sending text messages.

“I was casually trying to drag the conversation to keep him talking. And I was trying to inch my way, just in case, to my pocket knife from the junk drawers.”

When knocking did come from the front door, Spacht repeatedly said not to answer, but the resident said sheriff’s deputies soon breached the door, which sent Spacht running to hide in a closet.

“I come out and they have their guns drawn, my hands are up, they’re like, ‘Hey, we were knocking on your door pretty loud, did you not hear us?’ And I kind of whispered to one of them ‘Can we talk outside?’ “

The resident went outside with a deputy and soon after, Spacht was in custody.

Sheriff Perry Palmer said Spacht was arrested, “on a circuit court capias for a probation violation.”     

In most instances, a capias warrant is issued in connection with failure to appear before the court in a criminal case.

“He’ll be going to regional jail until the judge asks for him,” Palmer said.

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