Victim of fall at Petersen had been 'acting weird'
By Jill King Greenwood
Friday, April 1, 2011
A McDonald man might have taken hallucinogens such as mushrooms and was "acting weird" at a concert before he crashed through a window at the Petersen Events Center in Oakland and fell about 30 feet to his death, Pittsburgh police said Thursday.
Some witnesses told detectives Joseph Kimutis, 19, got into a football stance, yelled "hike" and crashed through the window during an intermission about 9 p.m. Wednesday. At least two other witnesses said Kimutis jumped up and down like a track and field athlete about to do the long jump when he ran directly into the window.
"We don't know exactly what happened, and we may never know," said police Lt. Daniel Herrmann. "Not too many people actually saw it happen. The place was crowded and loud, and people were paying attention to other things."
The floor in front of the window Kimutis crashed through appeared to have just been cleaned and waxed, Herrmann said, and was "very slippery." That may have been a factor.
"I don't think he wanted to crash through that window," Herrmann said. "I really don't think that was his intention."
Kimutis joined his father at the show featuring the band Further, which includes two former Grateful Dead members. Kimutis' father declined to comment. An autopsy is expected to be performed today, and toxicology reports are likely to take weeks, Herrmann said.
Kimutis attended South Fayette High School through his junior year, said district Superintendent Bille Pearce Rondinelli. He ran track and played football.
He transferred to Seton-LaSalle Catholic High School for his senior year, and Gary Rodgers, president of the school, said students and staff there were saddened to hear of his death.
"We extend to his family our deepest sympathies on their great loss and the promise of our prayers and support," Rodgers said. "Our hearts go out to all of his family and friends as they mourn the loss of this young man."
Kimutis spent one semester at Slippery Rock University before withdrawing in December, university spokesman Karl Schwab said. Schwab didn't know whether Kimutis participated in any campus activities or transferred to another university.
Kimutis' neighbors described him as friendly and always smiling. Someone created a Facebook page in his memory called "God's Newest Angel, Joe Kimutis."