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Man leaps from tall building in attempt to evade police

A man landed on a third-floor parkade of this Cumberland Avenue building.

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A man landed on a third-floor parkade of this Cumberland Avenue building. (KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

He wasn't wearing a cape and possessed no superpowers.

So it's no surprise a Winnipeg man's attempt to escape a police raid by leaping out a ninth-floor window didn't turn out very well.

Police say the accused is lucky to be alive -- but facing a long, painful recovery -- after the bizarre incident Sunday evening in downtown Winnipeg. His flight attempt ended with him landing on a third-floor parkade and suffering extensive injuries.

"We're looking at a significant drop here of about six storeys. He made an extreme decision to avoid officers," Winnipeg police Const. Jason Michalyshen said Monday.

Members of the tactical support team burst into a suite of a Cumberland Avenue apartment block to execute a search warrant in an ongoing drug-and-weapons investigation.

Five young men between the ages of 18 and 26 were inside.

Four gave up immediately without incident and were taken into custody. But the fifth accused wasn't going down so easily.

Police said he crawled out the window of the residence and took the plunge. There was no getting up once he landed with a thud.

"It's not uncommon for individuals to flee from us, whether we're talking on foot or perhaps in a motor vehicle. But to take this type of a measure is extreme. It's not something we deal with on a usual basis," said Michalyshen.

Justice sources speculated Monday the man may have been under the influence, which contributed to his rather poor decision-making. A full internal police review of the incident is mandatory because a suspect was injured.

Several residents of the building said Monday they were surprised to hear the man survived. None wanted their names published because of security concerns surrounding the investigation.

"He's a lucky son of a gun," said one man as he surveyed the landing area.

"He must have broken every bone in his body," said another. "It's a crazy world."

Police couldn't detail the specific injuries but said the man is expected to remain in hospital for a lengthy period of time. "His injuries are extensive," said Michalyshen.

Police seized several guns, ammunition, drugs and cash from inside the suite. Numerous charges are pending against all five accused, whose names haven't been released.

Damage was visible on the door to the residence, and others down the hallway reported hearing a commotion.

"There was lots of banging, lots of yelling," said a neighbour who was watching TV as the heavily armed police arrived. He wasn't surprised to hear the suite down the hall was the target of a raid.

"There's always fighting going on there, always people coming and going. I don't really know them. I don't want to know them," he said.


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