Just after midnight on Thursday morning, the Stanton County Sheriff’s office was notified of a break-in and sexual assault that had just occurred at a rural residence in southern Stanton County north of Leigh, according to the sheriff's office.
The report was that a male armed with a handgun had broken into the residence and sexually assaulted the female after tying her up and threatening to shoot her. After the attack, the male stole the victims SUV and fled the area towards Hwy 32.
Within 10 minutes the vehicle was observed by the Sheriff’s office traveling east near the junction of Hwy 32 and 15. The vehicle was followed into Cuming County until a second unit was present and at that time emergency lights were activated and then the vehicle failed to stop and continued east as a pursuit was initiated. according to the sheriff's office.
About two miles west of West Point, the Cuming County Sheriff’s office deployed a deflation device and the front left tire of the SUV was deflated. After another half mile the vehicle pulled onto the south shoulder and the lone male suspect fled south into a field through the passenger door leaving the vehicle in gear.
A perimeter was set up by the Stanton and Cuming County Sheriff’s office along with the Nebraska State Patrol and at about 2:40 a.m. the suspect was taken into custody after he was found hiding on the top of a livestock trailer at a nearby farm residence, according to the sheriff's office.
The suspect is identified as Gabriel Safty, 17, of rural Leigh and he was booked on felony charges that include: Burglary, Possession of Burglar Tools, False Imprisonment, First Degree Sexual Assault, Armed Robbery, Terroristic Threats, Use of a Weapon to Commit a Felony, Theft of a Motor Vehicle and Operating a Motor Vehicle to Avoid Arrest. He was jailed at the JDC in Madison pending a detention hearing.
The female victim was taken to FRHS by Creston Rescue for treatment. A handgun, Knife and other items connected to the attack were seized during the arrest. The Dodge County Sheriff’s office also assisted with a K-9 unit as did Stanton County Emergency Management with a thermal drone that was deployed.
On Tuesday morning 10 Northeast College students were arrested by the Stanton County Sheriff’s office following an investigation into more than 30 election signs that were stolen in and around Woodland Park and Stanton last week over several different nights, according to a press release.
The signs were both large plywood and smaller yard signs for the (Re-Elect Unger Sheriff) campaign. Thirty-one signs were recovered by the Sheriff’s office from a residence north of Stanton that was also the scene of a large MIP party last fall that was broken up by the Sheriff’s office with multiple MIP citations issued.
The ten young men confessed to their respective parts in the separate thefts and mounting them as trophies on the wall of the rural Stanton residence. They further admitted to the theft of one other campaign sign for another Sheriff candidate. Several of the signs and mounting wires were damaged during the thefts.
All ten were booked at the Sheriff’s office on theft and criminal mischief charges and released on citations with court dates set for June. The theft or damage of any election sign is illegal and taken serious as is any theft of property by the Sheriff’s office, according to the release.
In a separate incident more than 30 election signs (Re-Elect Unger Sheriff) were damaged or destroyed last week in Stanton by two pre-teen males who were observed damaging the signs by riding their bikes over only a certain candidates signs and avoiding others and admitted the damage when confronted by the Sheriff’s office. They were released to their parents with a caution due to their age and informed to make restitution for the damages.
An Omaha ma was lifeflighted to a Sioux City hospital following a one-vehicle accident south of Pilger Saturday morning.
At about 7 a.m. on Saturday morning, the Stanton County Sheriff’s office was notified of a one-vehicle rollover injury accident near the intersection of Highway 15 and 834th Road about six miles South of Pilger.
The accident occurred when a northbound car driven by a 41-year-old Omaha man left Highway 15 and entered the steep east ditch striking a creek bed and rolling. The lone occupant was found outside the vehicle by a passerby and it is unclear when the accident occurred or if the driver was ejected.
Seatbelts did not appear to be in use and the driver was stabilized on scene by Pilger Fire and Rescue and then transported from the scene by LifeNet medical helicopter to a Sioux City, IA trauma center. The accident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s office.
A Wayne man was arrested after he attempted to flee law enforcement Tuesday morning, leading to Sheriff Mike Unger shooting out his tire.
At approximately 11:25 a.m. the Stanton County Sheriff’s office responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint on 826th Road about six miles north of Leigh in southern Stanton County just off Hwy 57. A lone male was located inside the vehicle in a compromising situation involving sex paraphernalia. During this contact illegal drugs and contraband were observed in the plain view and the male was removed from the vehicle.
During this contact, the Sheriff's office said the male refused to cooperate with the lone law enforcement officer and re-entered his vehicle and refused commands to exit and show his hands as he reached into the back seat. He continued to refuse to exit and placed the running vehicle into gear in an attempt to drive off.
At that time, the vehicle was disabled by a gunshot from Sheriff Mike Unger to the front left tire to prevent a vehicle pursuit of an obviously impaired person. The male was again physically removed from the vehicle and placed on the ground at which time he again physically resisted and began to run towards Hwy 57 and was finally subdued. The male suspect, Jeffrey Olsufka, 37, of Wayne and Sheriff Unger were both medically cleared on scene by Leigh Fire and Rescue.
Olsufka was then jailed on charges of Driving While Intoxicated-4th offense, Resisting Arrest, Possession of Controlled Substance (methamphetamine), Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Prohibited Acts (under the influence of illegal drugs). Olsufka was out on bond in both Stanton and Wayne counties on drug charges.
A Norfolk man died in a one-vehicle accident on Thursday night in Stanton County.
According to the Stanton County Sheriff's Office, at about 8 p.m. 71-year-old Merl Thelen was driving westbound on Highway 275 when for unknown reasons the vehicle left the roadway and went down a steep embankment where the vehicle rolled and became airborne landing across a creek about 300 feet off the highway.
Thelen was extricated from the wreckage by Norfolk Fire and Rescue and was being prepared for a medical helicopter to transport him when he went into cardiac arrest and was taken to FRHS by ambulance. He was later pronounced deceased at the hospital.
Seatbelts were not in use and the vehicle was a total loss. The Sheriff’s office was assisted by the Madison County Sheriff’s office and Stanton County Emergency Management.
Four people were transported to the hospital following an accident involving a car and a Stanton School bus on Monday morning.
Sheriff Mike Unger said three kids and one adult were transported — all with non-life threatening injuries. The accident occurred northwest of Stanton.
This story will be updated when more information becomes available.
A Stanton law enforcement officer was recently given a “code save” award from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Service.
Sheriff Mike Unger was recognized for performing CPR on two separate occasions last year.
According to the NDHHS, these awards are given to individuals who assisted a patient in cardiac arrest which had a positive outcome. Nominations are made online by going to the NDHHS website.
According to a press release from Unger, he began chest compressions on a local man last October and was able to re-establish a pulse.
In another incident in November, Unger said he assisted with another man not breathing and performed CPR on him.
Unger is a member of the Pilger Fire & Rescue.
To nominate someone for a code save award, please click here.
To read the full press release, please click here.
The Stanton County Sheriff's race is officially contested. Incumbent Mike Unger filed for re-election on Thursday. His opponent James Hetzler filed on Friday.
Both men are registered as Republicans, so their race will be decided in the May primary. The winner may face a Democratic opponent, if there is a candidate, in the November general election.
Unger, a graduate of Norfolk Catholic High School, is seeking his ninth term as sheriff. He's a U.S. Army veteran and served overseas during the Cold War.
Hetzler, a graduate of Stanton Community Schools, is currently a deputy in Washington County. He previously worked for the Norfolk Police department and was in the U.S. Army for six years, including multiple tours overseas.
Look for more details on both candidates in next week's issue of the Stanton Register.
A ditch fire south of Stanton was reported just before noon on Wednesday.
According to Stanton County Emergency Management, Stanton Fire & Rescue responded to a fire on Highway 57 at about 11:45 p.m. Four trucks and 10 firefighters extinguished the blaze in about an hour. The wind was gusting at about 35 mph during the call.
The Stanton County Sheriff's Office and Stanton County Emergency Management responded to the scene, which was cleared around 1 p.m.
On Thursday evening at about 10:00 p.m. the Stanton County Sheriff’s office stopped a vehicle South of Pilger on Hwy 15 for a speeding violation. During the contact with the lone driver, Raul Calderon, 21, of Grand Island he was found to be driving with a suspended license and also had a large quantity of the controlled substance Psilocybin mushrooms and drug paraphernalia in his possession.
Calderon was also confirmed to be wanted on two felony arrest warrants out of Woodbury County, Iowa for drug violations. Calderon was placed under arrest on the felony charges and jailed.