By: Mark Fitzgerald
Sometimes a good story just falls into your lap. Or pretty darn close. Just ask Rick Wade, editor of the evening Pekin (Ill.) Daily Times. Wade was one of just three people in the newsroom at 6 a.m. one day in May when someone thought they heard footsteps coming from the ceiling. No sooner had that thought registered when a man came crashing down through the ceiling, smashed onto a unoccupied desk, and landed on the floor a few feet from Wade.
“What do you say to a newsroom crasher? ‘Who the heck are you?'” Wade said, according to the paper’s account. The man, he would learn, was 23-year-old Charles Wade (no relation to the editor). According to the subsequent police report, Charles Wade was unable to explain how or why he got into the newspaper building.
Not surprisingly, the report added, drink was involved. The Peoria man was charged with criminal trespass.
The incident provoked some mixed feelings in the newsroom. “The only time anybody calls about what’s going on in this paper is when a drunk falls through the ceiling,” one reporter groused to E&P, adding quickly: “Unfortunately, it happened while I was on vacation, so I missed the only excitement around here.”