09/19/2007

Fall from roof critically injures Ind. officer

The Associated Press 

RICHMOND, Ind. — A police officer searching for a burglar fell about 25 feet through a car dealership’s roof, suffering severe head injuries, authorities said.

Officer Nicholas Guenther was taken by helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, where he was listed in critical condition today.

Guenther was on the roof of the Wetzel Family Auto Dealership with another officer and a firefighter late Tuesday when he fell. His fall, though, wasn’t noticed until the second officer found a damaged skylight and turned to tell Guenther, but didn’t see him, police said.

“It appears they have fiberglass panels for skylights that were covered up with roofing material, so it looked like it was solid roofing,” Police Chief Kris Wolski said. “The officer fell through, landing in the repair area of the garage, on the floor, and suffered head injuries.”

Other officers found the suspected burglar lying on the ground outside the building, with a possible broken arm he suffered in an apparent similar fall, police said. He was taken to Reid Memorial Hospital in Richmond for treatment.

Officers had gone to the car dealership on a burglary alarm call about 10:30 p.m. and found a car near the building that was running but with its lights off, police said. Officers suspected the burglar might have climbed onto the roof and called the fire department for help searching the roof.

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