MARATHON COUNTY, WI (OnFocus) – On June 17th at 12:06 p.m. the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Rothchild Police Department with a stolen boat complaint. The suspect reportedly stole a motorboat and was witnessed traveling south on the Wisconsin River.
The Rothschild, Kronenwetter, and Mosinee Police Departments, WI State Patrol, WI DNR, and the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office responded.
The suspect jumped from the boat and swam to an island. Officers searched the island and located the suspect, who ran to the river and began to swim away. Ultimately, the suspect was safely taken into custody.
An active incident like this, especially on a body of water, poses unique challenges. One is the means in which to pursue the suspect in a timely matter. Another is the boarding of an unoccupied vessel while still in gear doing circles in the water. The DNR and Sheriff’s Office have boats, but it takes time to get them and deploy them.
“Fortunately, during the incident we had three boats which were occupied by Good Samaritan’s who assisted,” the department said in a statement.
One of the Good Samaritan boats drove Deputies to the area of the stolen boat and also helped monitor the island until law enforcement boats arrived. A second citizen boat assisted in watching the island.
A third citizen boat drove a deputy to the area of the stolen boat. When the suspect initially jumped from this boat, it was still in gear and traveling in circles at approximately 5 mph.
The third Good Samaritan assisted in following the stolen boat until it beached and helped to notify other boaters of the danger.
The Marathon County Sheriff’s Office extends its gratitude to Trent Ruchti and Steve and Marcia Brye of Mosinee. There was a third couple who assisted but wished to remain anonymous.
“Members of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office are frequently thanked for our service. It is nice to be able to say, ‘Thank you’ to the Good Samaritan’s who assisted us in obtaining a safe outcome to a unique situation,” they stated.
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