Suspect found hiding in hot tub in Carter Lake

WOWT Live at 10
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 11:10 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An erratic driver in a Carter Lake neighborhood led police on an unexpected chase Monday afternoon.

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

”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,” said Carter Lake police chief Shawn Kannedy. “And then as we were looking for him we got a call that he was out on the golf course and he ran from us for a little bit.”

Carter Lake police did their best to keep the pursuit on the cart paths, but police said Thibodeau drove straight across the fairways, and in this case, right across the 10th green of the golf course.

Stunned golfers pointed the way for pursuing police, where they found the abandoned vehicle with severe damage to the front. Witnesses told them they saw a man get out of the car and jump into Carter Lake.

Police say from there it didn’t take long to track down the suspect, who they say 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,” said Carter Lake resident Brett Wheeler. “He was so still, so quiet, I though he was dead at first, and I thought great, the guy drowned in our hot tub.”

“I dropped the lid, and I asked (my wife) to go tell the police,” Wheeler said. “Then I informed (Thibodeau) I was armed, and he was very apologetic, for inconveniencing us more than anything right, then gave a little explanation why he was there, but I didn’t give that much credence.”

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.

Shoreline Golf Course reported minimal damage, with most of the repairs already completed by the end of the day.

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