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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Sheriff collars strangulation suspect

  • Otoe County Sheriff Jim Gress captured a strangulation suspect who fled from the county detention center Friday afternoon after attempting to bail out a friend.The suspect, 43-year-old Mikel Hillis, is charged with escape while under felony arrest.A clerk informed the sheriff that a man in the front lobby had ...
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  • Otoe County Sheriff Jim Gress captured a strangulation suspect who fled from the county detention center after attempting to bail out a friend.
    A lobby clerk informed the sheriff that a man in the front lobby had an active warrant. Sheriff Gress said he asked the man's name and informed him that he was under arrest on a warrant for felony strangulation.
    The 43-year-old man said he needed to go outside to his truck to inform his teenage son, but the sheriff ordered him to surrender saying that he would inform the man's son later.
    "The next thing I know he had bolted for the door and I was in hot pursuit," the sheriff said.
    Gress, who became the longest-serving sheriff in Otoe County history at 30 years, said the man jumped over a thicket of barberry bushes near the door and headed toward his pickup truck about 35 feet away.
    "I always say if someone runs on me, I'll let them go, but my instincts got a hold of me," Gress said.
    The sheriff followed through the bushes, tripping and falling to the concrete driveway. He resumed the pursuit, but the man was able to get in the truck and lock the door.
    Sheriff Gress said he drew his weapon and told the man he was under arrest and needed to surrender. Gress then pounded on the truck windows.
    "My intention was to break the windows, but he unlocked the door, so I open the door up and pulled him to the ground," Gress said.
    The man was not able to start the truck because the keys fell into the bushes when he jumped.
    The man had sought to bail out Maureen Hrouda, 49, of Syracuse. She had been arrested May 28 for suspicion of possession of methamphetamine.
    The sheriff had scrapes on his hands and knees, but appears to have escaped additional injury from his attempt to leap through the thorny barberry bushes after the suspect.
    After the man was apprehended, the sheriff said he realized a citizen who had been in the office had followed to assist him.
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