Suspect arrested near Carter Lake, found in hot tub

WOWT Live at 10
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 7:02 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2022 at 10:55 PM CDT
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CARTER LAKE, Iowa (WOWT) - An erratic driver in a Carter Lake neighborhood led police on an unexpected chase across a golf course and into the water.

The suspected car thief was found hiding in a hot tub.

It started simply enough but quickly took a dog leg turn when police say Paul Thibodeau headed for the links at Shoreline.

”We got a call that a car did a hit and run at one of the residents, hit a retaining wall, did severe damage to the vehicle, and then as we were looking for him we got a call and he was out on the golf course and he ran from us for a little bit,” said Chief Shawn Kannedy, Carter Lake Police.

Carter Lake Police did their best to keep it on the cart paths, but police say Thibodeau drove straight across the fairways, and in this case, right across the tenth green.

The golfers pointed there, the picturesque thirteenth green is where police say his tour stopped and he jumped into Carter Lake.

Police say from there it didn’t take long to track down the suspect who made his way to shore a few hundred yards down the lake.

Residents were advised and ultimately uncovered his location.

”I lifted up the hot tub that we have and I saw him, he was so still, so quiet, I thought he was dead at first, and I thought great, the guy drowned in our hot tub.” “I dropped the lid, and I asked her to go tell the police, then I informed him I was armed, and he was very apologetic, for inconveniencing more than anything right, then a little explanation why he was there, but I didn’t give it that much credence,” said Brett Wheeler.

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Whatever the explanation, Carter Lake Police booked Thibodeau into Pottawattamie County Jail.

On probation from Mississippi after a felony motor vehicle theft conviction, Carter Lake Police charged him with seven counts including a fugitive from justice charge.

Police are expected to file additional charges against Thibodeau once they located the car’s owner.

He was apprehended by Omaha Police who were assisting.

The general manager of the Shoreline Golf Course said the damage was minor and most has already been repaired.

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