Affidavit: Resident at The Village refused to surrender his hatchet when entering and used it to smash office window

photo by: Austin Hornbostel/Journal-World

The gated entry to The Village, 256 N. Michigan St., is pictured on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024. The site is home to 50 Pallet cabins for people experiencing homelessness.

A man living at Lawrence’s Pallet shelter village allegedly refused to surrender his hatchet at the front office when returning to the site one night and then used it to smash an office window, causing an office worker to fear for his safety, according to Lawrence police.

The man, Jesse Lee Green, 37, is charged in Douglas County District Court with one felony count of aggravated robbery, one felony count of aggravated assault, one misdemeanor count of battery and one misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property, according to charging documents.

The charges are in connection with an incident on April 21 at Lawrence’s newly opened Pallet shelter community, The Village, at 256 N. Michigan St. According to a police affidavit in support of Green’s arrest, Green was a resident at The Village, and the incident took place when he returned to The Village shortly after 9 p.m. that day.

All of the following details about the incident are from the arrest affidavit. An arrest affidavit is a sworn document detailing the probable cause behind a person’s arrest, and the allegations contained in it have not been proved in court.

On the evening of April 21, a staff member at The Village told police that he saw Green outside the fenced perimeter hitting a metal pole with something made of metal. Green then used a key card to enter the Village grounds carrying a hatchet, the staff member told police.

The staff member said Green first went to his cabin but was unable to enter it, because residents must check in at the office when they return to The Village to receive the key to open their cabin door.

Green approached the staff member at the office and requested his key, the staff member told police. The staff member said he told Green that weapons weren’t permitted in The Village and that Green would need to check the hatchet at the office before he could get his key.

The staff member told police that Green then raised the hatchet “halfway” and said, “I dare you to take this from me.”

The staff member continued to insist that Green check the weapon in, and he said Green began yelling and demanding the key to his shelter. Then, the staff member told police, Green raised the hatchet again, and the staff member closed and locked the office door out of fear and called 911.

While the staff member was calling for help, he said, Green smashed one of the windows of the office. The staff member told police that as the window shattered, he raised his arm to protect his face and was cut on the hand.

The staff member said he then quickly opened the office door and threw Green’s key onto the ground; he said Green picked it up, dropped the hatchet and walked to his cabin. The staff member told police he gave Green the key out of fear that Green would come into the office with the hatchet.

When the staff member saw that Green had left the area, he said he picked up the hatchet and put it inside the office.

Police eventually arrived and took Green into custody; while he was being handcuffed, Green told police he should not have done what he did, according to the affidavit. The affidavit says police asked Green multiple times why he broke the window and threatened the staff member. Green told police that he was very tired and had not been sleeping well, and that when he broke the window, as soon as the staff member threw the key to him, he dropped the hatchet, went back to his cabin and went to sleep.

Green is being held at the Douglas County Jail on a $25,000 cash or surety bond and is next scheduled to appear in court on May 30 for a preliminary hearing.


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