QCOnline.com – HAMPTON — A man was in custody Tuesday, accused of stealing an East Moline fire truck that nearly wound up in the Mississippi River during the incident.
The theft happened about 4 p.m. when the man took the truck from East Moline as its crew was conducting a building inspection, said East Moline Police Capt. Tom Reagan. The man then drove the truck to the intersection of 5th Street and 1st Avenue in Hampton.
The truck went off the road at that intersection and down the embankment toward the river, but did not get submerged in the water, Capt. Reagan said. The man then jumped into the river and tried to escape police.
With the help of fire department rescue boats, police captured the man nearby, Capt. Reagan said.
Authorities on Tuesday evening were trying to determine whether the man would be taken to a hospital or to the Rock Island County Jail, Capt. Reagan said.
The man was not in the Rock Island County Jail as of 6:48 p.m., according to staff.
Police and fire personnel from East Moline, Moline and Hampton all took part in dealing with the theft, he said.
East Moline Fire Chief Rob DeFrance, who was at the scene, said the truck would have to be inspected. The truck was valued about $375,000 when new.