A St. Paul man has been charged with cutting a window screen and trying to shove a window air conditioner inside a house in an attempt to burglarize a home in the 3600 block of 1st Avenue South. The man says he stumbled and fell into the window.
James Earl Eason, 29, is charged with first-degree burglary, a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum of six months in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, signed by Minneapolis Police Lt. Michael Heyer, the victim called police just after 6:30 p.m. Aug. 2 and reported that a man had just cut a window screen on his house and tried to open the window.
When that didn’t work, the suspect tried to push in the window air-conditioning unit, the victim reported.
When police arrived, they spotted the suspect, later identified as Eason, walking near the victim’s home. An officer chased Eason on foot, yelling at him to stop, but he fled before being stopped in the 3500 block of Blaisdell Avenue South, according to the complaint.
The victim told police that he saw Eason inside his fenced yard, pacing back and forth before approaching a window on the south side of the house. Eason used a knife or some other kind of tool to cut the window screen, then attempted to push open the window, the victim said.
Eason next tried shaking the window air conditioner, trying to force it inside the house, the victim said.
When the victim’s dog began to bark, Eason walked away. Police brought him back to the house, where the victim identified him as the man whom he had seen trying to get into his home.
Police found Eason’s fingerprints on the cut screen and the air conditioner, according to the complaint.
Eason told police that he was trying to fill his water bottle at the victim’s house when he stumbled, fell into the window and tore the screen, the complaint says. He denied touching the air conditioner.
Eason remains in the Hennepin County Jail on a $30,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Sept. 13 in Hennepin County District Court.