A maintenance man is accused of picking up an 11-year-old boy and holding him over the edge of the balcony at an apartment building in Shoreview.
According to a criminal complaint, 34-year-old James Miller got into a verbal exchange with some children who were sitting on a third-floor balcony of the Shoreview Hills Apartments at 4154 Lexington Ave on Aug. 31.
One of the boys, the victim's 15-year-old brother, asked Miller if he wanted any help, and what followed was an exchange of remarks that resulted in Miller climbing up to the balcony.
The complaint says:
J.M.T (the victim) said that the man made profane remarks and threatened to climb up to their balcony. J.M.T said that his brother said, "no you won't," at which point the man climbed up the side of the building to the balcony, grabbed him (J.M.T.) and held him over the balcony railing.
J.M.T said that the man dropped and caught him while holding him there. [He] said he was scared and thought that the man would drop him.
The victim's story was backed up by his brother and three of his friends, including an 11-year-old girl who ran off in fear at the incident, before coming back to see her friend being dangled over the edge.
As deputies were leaving the scene after a witness called it in, Miller approached them and said the incident had been a joke, and that he'd simply been "goofing off" with the children.
He said the children don't like him because he stops them from running around the building, and that he'd climbed to the balcony to prove that he could do so.
"While there he had lifted J.M.T. up and placed him back down," the complaint says, but adds that Miller "denied having attempted to throw or hold J.M.T. over the balcony."
Follow-up interviews with the two brothers saw them admit that some food had fallen from the balcony as Miller cleaned below, with Miller allegedly responding: "Who threw that? I’m going to climb up there and throw whoever did it."
Miller has been charged in Ramsey County with one count of making terroristic threats with reckless disregard of risks.