Thursday, October 9, 2008

What people will do to get their hands on opera in Madison when it's really as easy as calling the Overture Center Box Office at (608) 258-4141...

Laptop opera music leads to wild chase

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 8, 2008, 11:04 a.m.
By Linda Spice

A Madison burglary that began with opera music playing on a laptop computer ended with a police officer being assaulted and a citizen using a wrestling hold to pin the suspect for police.

The Madison man, 34, was arrested on Monday on possible charges of residential burglary, battery to a law enforcement officer, resisting a law enforcement officer and a parole hold, according to police.

The victim, a 26-year-old man, told police he had been listening to opera music on his laptop computer which was on top of a table near a window. He heard some rustling at the window and stood up in time to see a man reach through the freshly cut window screen and grab his computer.

The victim and others chased the suspect down. The man got his laptop back about the time that the chase caught the attention of a Madison police officer who was parked at James Madison Park to type up reports.

It was about 5:40 p.m. when the officer heard citizens shouting about a suspect on the run with a stolen laptop computer.

The officer spotted a foot chase nearby and drove - red lights and siren on - in the direction of the pursuit. A witness told the officer the suspect was running toward Lake Mendota, where the officer drove and spotted the suspect. The officer's subsequent foot chase ended when the suspect encountered a six-foot chain link fence.

The man attempted to climb the fence but the officer grabbed his jacket and pants and pulled him down. After a struggle, the suspect broke free when he elbowed the officer in the chest.

The suspect next encountered another citizen, a former wrestler with 13 years of grappling experience, who tackled the suspect.

"The citizen later told officers he knew if he put an elbow near the side of the suspect's face that the suspect would be pinned and unable to move," according to a police report.

A backup officer arrived and the former wrestler stepped back.

The suspect continued to struggle until he was shocked with a Taser, according to police.

Police later found $500 stuffed in the suspect's socks.

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