Professional skateboarder Jereme Rogers said Wednesday he was sorry for disturbing his Redondo Beach neighbors this week when he "ate some `mushrooms' and bugged out," preaching naked on his rooftop.
Rogers, a high school dropout who attributes his skateboarding skills to God, was eventually grabbed by police officers and brought down from his precarious perch.
"It obviously was not an everyday experience," the 24-year-old athlete said. "It was a very out-of-body experience. I've never had an experience like that."
Rogers pulled off his boxer shorts about 6:40 a.m. Monday and climbed onto the roof of the two-story house he shares with roommates on Havemeyer Lane and Goodman Avenue.
"It was obviously something I shouldn't have done," Rogers said as he rolled a marijuana joint in his bedroom. "It was just something that happened."
Redondo Beach police Lt. Jim Acquarelli climbed about 20 to 30 feet to the roof, where he found Rogers yelling and screaming. Acquarelli said Rogers' roommates told him that he had ingested the hallucinogenic drug.
Rogers ran back and forth around the roof's perimeter, sitting down at the edge with his back to the street.
"He would have fragmented, interrupted conversations with people that weren't there,"
Rogers never tried to jump or talked of suicide, but he came very close to falling.
"He never lost his balance," the lieutenant said. "The potential was there for it. If he had taken a few negligible steps to the right, that would have impeded his balance and would have led to his demise."
Rogers, who is religious and often talks about spirituality, said in the interview that he was preaching to the neighbors and talking about God.
"I literally was walking on the edge," he said. "They said my balance was amazing."
Acquarelli said he read some of the tattoos on Rogers' body and used the words to try to draw his interest. Rogers has "In God I Trust" tattooed on his neck and similar tattoos on his body and arms.
The police officer told Rogers he was a Catholic high school teacher, talked about spirituality and success, and drew Rogers' attention. He got closer to Rogers and two other officers moved in and grabbed him.
Rogers was taken to County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center for 72-hour observation. He was not arrested but possibly could face charges later.
Rogers, a native of Boston, was voted TransWorld Skateboarding's 2006 Rookie of the Year. His sponsors include Billabong, DVS, Royal Diamond, Modern Wheels, Monster Energy Drink and Boost Mobile, according to a profile on about.com's skateboarding page.
"Jereme Rogers is a self-taught, highly driven skateboarder," wrote the author, Steve Cave. "He pushed himself into being good enough to ride with the pros, and he still pushes himself today to become the best park rider around. And he's doing it. Jereme Rogers' style is strong and fluid, and loads of switch tricks mixed in."
The article said Rogers dropped out of high school to pursue skateboarding, and is a very outspoken Christian.
"In interviews he has no problem talking about how he got his skill in skateboarding from God, and then dropping an F-bomb. Jereme Rogers has a clean image and is a role model to skaters all over the planet."
Rogers did not smoke the joint in front of a reporter. He said it is well known among his fans that he is a user.
"Yeah, I'm rolling weed," he said. "I have a medical card. I'm a weed smoker."
By Larry Altman Staff Writer
Posted: 06/03/2009 06:18:36 PM PDT