Thirsty burglar gets stuck on store roof trying to break in, deputies say

Fire department, deputies helped 'dehydrated' suspect get down from roof

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

DeLAND, Fla. - A man says he climbed onto a DeLand convenience store's roof Saturday morning in an attempt to get into the business, because he was thirsty, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

The Woodland Food Mart was closed when Michael Monacelli, 31, told deputies he tried to get inside the store because he was dehydrated and needed something to drink. He tried getting in by breaking a window, the suspect told deputies. Unable to get into the business, Monacelli climbed a tree and onto the roof, according to the arrest report. He told deputies that he then crawled into a hole on the roof  for shelter.

The suspect, who became stuck on the roof, was found around 8 a.m. by the business owner opening up for the day when they heard Monacelli's calls for help.

"I'm dying. I need help," the business owner said he heard Monacelli saying.

Deputies said when they arrived, they had trouble hearing Monacelli's cries for help because he had crawled inside a hole behind the business's sign. Deputy body camera video captured the encounter.

Volusia County Fire Rescue came out and used a ladder to help Monacelli, who was only wearing shorts and socks, get down from the roof, according to the report.

Monacelli repeatedly told EMS and deputies he needed water and was given a bottle of water, the body camera videos shows.

While explaining how he came to be on the roof, a deputy confronted Monacelli about his reasoning, pointing to the full bottle, saying "You've had that water for almost 30 minutes and you've had two sips of it."

"I was trying to put your thing first above my hydration," Monacelli told the deputy, referring to his questions.

As he was being placed into a patrol car, Monacelli said he didn't even try to climb on the roof, "it just happened."

Monacelli was cleared by medical personal before he was booked into the Volusia County Jail on charges of  attempted burglary and property damage.

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