Police Officers Save Crook From Drowning

Published 08/04 2014 09:57AM

Updated 08/04 2014 01:16PM

APPLETON, Wisc. (WFRV) Two Appleton police officers jumped into the Fox River Monday morning after a suspected thief was found struggling in the water.

According to Sergeant David Lund from the Appleton Police Department, a witness noticed the man stealing a laptop from a home in the 1400 block of North Kenilworth Avenue. The citizen started chasing the man. The two began to struggle. The crook dropped the laptop and took off.

Police arrived on scene and began searching a wooded area, near Peabody Park, for the thief. They heard the man struggling for help in the nearby Fox River. Officers jumped in and rescued him.  


News Release from Appleton Police:

On August 4, 2014, at approximately 7:12AM, the Appleton Police Department received a call of a burglary, which had just occurred in the 1400 block on N. Kenilworth Avenue.  The caller reported an unknown person leaving her home with a laptop computer.

As officers responded, another citizen became involved in the incident, after seeing the suspect conceal the laptop under his clothing. The citizen, who correctly believed the subject’s actions to be suspicious, followed the suspect and confronted him.  The suspect ran.  The Good Samaritan followed the subject and confronted him a second time. A physical altercation occurred, during which the suspect dropped the laptop.  The suspect fled.  The Good Samaritan, who was not injured, called to report the suspect’s location.

As officers began to search a wooded area to the east of Peabody Park, they located a man in the Fox River.  Lt. Dan Weiske stated the male party was approximately 75 feet into the river and was struggling to keep his head above the water.  Lt. Weiske called for the Appleton Fire Department’s water rescue team to respond.  He then saw the subject go under water.  Lt. Weiske called Sgt. Rob Wills to his location.  Together, Lt. Weiske and Sgt. Wills went into the river to rescue the subject.  They were able to get him to shore and had medical personnel respond to provide the suspect aid.

The subject was transported to a local hospital to have his medical condition assessed.  He was then taken to jail.

Luke M. Scholtka, who states he is homeless, is currently confined at the Outagamie County Jail.  A charge of Burglary is being requested for Scholtka, who is also being charged with bail jumping.

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