Columbus taking measures to stop ‘roof hoppers’

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COLUMBUS, Ind. – Columbus officials are less than a month away from a safety measure they hope will prevent some teenagers from taking a big risk.

Director of Redevelopment Heather Pope says management at The Cole apartments notified them some teens were jumping from the rooftop of the Second Street garage on to the apartment roof.

“I mean I’ve seen teenagers here on the roof with skateboards and such,” said parking garage user Affan Siddiqui. “I always thought they were just loitering around here. I had no idea they would be jumping here.”

Siddiqui says he’s shocked anyone would think jumping between the roofs is a good idea.

“To be honest, that’s quite a steep drop,” said Siddiqui as he peered over the edge. “I’m thinking these people see like these movies, like Spiderman or something and they get this adrenaline rush and they think maybe we can do these kinds of jumps in real life.”

The “Private Property” signs don’t appear to be working, so the garage staff recommended putting up gates here to stop cars from going up to the top of the garage after hours. It’s a tactic they say has worked in other garages.

“From their experience, if you cannot drive up there, you’re less likely to go up there,” said Pope. “People are less likely to walk up there.”

The gates, which are being manufactured by local company Ace Welding, has cost the city nearly $11,000.

The city is also set to add nearly $40,000 worth of surveillance cameras.

If people decide to walk up to the top, they’ll be able to see who’s up there and how often. Pope says the city may also eventually consider adding a mesh fence on top of the wall, but they’re waiting to see how these measures work first.

There’s also the price apartment managers are paying for damage to the roof’s plastic membrane from cigarette butts melting the material, plus the sheer impact of kids jumping on to it.

“They don’t care about their safety, but their mother and father, what would they think about this?” asked Siddiqui.

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