Manitoba

Rooftop standoff ends with man's arrest

Winnipeg firefighters coaxed a man off the roof of a Bannatyne Avenue house on Tuesday afternoon, ending a five-hour standoff over the building's demolition.

Property owner tried to stop demolition crews from tearing house down

A man is handcuffed by Winnipeg police after he was coaxed off the roof of a house on the 400 block of Bannatyne Avenue around 4 p.m. CT on Tuesday. (CBC)

Winnipeg firefighters coaxed a man off the roof of a Bannatyne Avenue house on Tuesday afternoon, ending a five-hour-long standoff over the building's demolition.

Police officers arrested the man as soon as he came down from the roof of the house on the 400 block of Bannatyne Avenue around 4 p.m. CT.

A demolition crew hired by the city to tear down the house had arrived around 11 a.m. CT when the man showed up, assaulted a crew member and climbed onto the roof, according to police.

A fire ladder truck raised three firefighters onto the roof, where they had a short conversation with the man and brought him down to ground level.

Police later announced that the 54-year-old man has been charged with assault with a weapon and mischief under $5,000.

A woman claiming to be the man's fiancée identified him as Ed Ackerman, who she said is trying to protect his house.

Houses declared derelict

Lindsay Ledobruk said Ackerman was frustrated with the city, which had demolished another one of his properties on Frances Street earlier on Tuesday.

Ledobruk said police and firefighters finally convinced Ackerman to come down.

"They had the fire department ladders go up to the roof and take him down. He sat down and they talked to him and then he came in," she said.

"He's normally a really peaceful man."

In October 2010, city crews tore down Ackerman's so-called Alphabet House, a 1½-storey house on Gertie Street that had oversized letters attached to the sides and roof shingles.

All three properties were declared derelict by the city. Officials said they have a warrant to enter the Bannatyne Avenue house in order to demolish it.

Glass blocks thrown at crew, workers allege

A crew with Imrie Demolition began tearing down the house around 6 p.m., two hours after Ackerman was arrested.

Imrie workers allege that Ackerman threw glass blocks at them when the standoff began.

One block hit a worker, but he was wearing a hard hat and was not seriously hurt, said Ward Imrie, who added that strong reactions to demolition orders are not uncommon.

"We've had lots of ordered stuff to do like this over the years, and it's hit and miss on how it will escalate sometimes," Imrie said.

Ledobruk said she was shocked to hear that Ackerman threw blocks at the demolition crew member.

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