Suspect Apprehended in Middle of Elkhorn River

NORFOLK - A homeless man wanted for a violation of the sex offender registry was arrested Thursday afternoon south of Norfolk – in the middle of the Elkhorn River. Norfolk Police Chief Bill Mizner says Brent Goeken, 32, was arrested following a pursuit that involved officers from three agencies, a K-9 unit and the State Patrol air wing. Mizner says officers were originally called to a report of a suspicious person in a vehicle parked in TaHaZouka Park. A check of the license plate turned up that it was stolen in Lancaster County, and the male driver was wanted on Madison County Warrants. Mizner says officers initiated a traffic stop and the suspect pulled off into a field, left the vehicle and fled into the Elkhorn River. Officers chased him across the river and back north, where he hid in a large tree along the Cowboy Trail.  Officers searched for about an hour before one of the Madison County Sheriff’s K-9’s got close enough that Goeken left his hiding place and again ran into the river, where a Norfolk Police Officer and Nebraska State Patrol Trooper took him into custody. Mizner says it was determined that not only were the license plates stolen, but the vehicle was also stolen in a separate incident in Lancaster County. Goeken was arrested for felony Madison County warrant for sex offender registry violation, felony possession of stolen property, flight to avoid arrest and obstructing an officer.

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