Man dies after falling through ice in retention pond while running from police

Man dies after falling through ice in retention pond while running from police

UPDATED 6:05 p.m.

CHAMPAIGN — An autopsy is scheduled Thursday for a Champaign man who died after being in the frigid waters of a retention pond more than an hour Tuesday before rescuers could safely get him out.

The Champaign County coroner’s office said Kenneth Brown Jr., 20, who listed an address in the 2000 block of Moreland Boulevard, Champaign, was pronounced dead at 1:08 a.m. Wednesday at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

He had been taken there shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday after being rescued from a pond on the north side of Town Center Boulevard in front of Menard’s — the third time on Tuesday that police had been called about him.

The Illinois State Water Survey reported the 4 p.m. air temperature Tuesday was around 20 degrees.

Champaign police Lt. Bob Rea said officers were called to McAlister’s Deli, 421 W. Town Center Blvd., just before 4 p.m. to remove a disorderly person. He was gone when police arrived.

Deputy Chief Joe Gallo said the earlier call came at 12:34 p.m. when Mr. Brown was apparently inside the business, where his girlfriend works, being “loud and disruptive.” He was gone when police arrived then too.

And about a half-hour before that, an officer stood by while Market Place Mall officials issued a ban notice to Mr. Brown after he was displaying “erratic behavior” in the center of the mall.

“He wasn’t a threat to anyone. We had no crime. He wasn’t arrested,” said Gallo of the 11:56 a.m. call to Market Place.

After leaving McAlister’s just before 4 p.m., Mr. Brown headed across Town Center Boulevard to the north.

Gallo said there were several officers in the area because of an unrelated domestic dispute call in the parking lot of Menards.

As Officers Tim Atteberry and Doug Kimme got out to walk toward Mr. Brown, he began jogging in the Menards parking lot then ran directly on to the frozen pond south of the store. The sergeant responding to the domestic dispute “sees Brown on the pond and can see it’s partially frozen and can hear it cracking so he’s calling for the Champaign Fire Department before he even falls in. Within seconds, he fell in,” Gallo said.

Champaign Deputy Fire Chief Eric Mitchell said his department got the call seconds before 3:53 p.m. that there was a man in the water.
The first firefighters arrived at 3:58 p.m. A total of 22 fire personnel and six vehicles turned out, he said.

“The way we’re trained, you have several different positions that have to be filled to do water rescue safely,” said Mitchell. “You have a leader and a victim observer (whose) job is to make contact visually with the victim and try to talk to him.”

Gallo said before firefighters arrived, the officers were talking to him, trying to get him to get his body on the ice. An officer went in Menards to get rope and by the time he emerged, firefighters were there.

Mitchell said Mr. Brown was still conscious.

“They could hear him yelling but couldn’t understand much what he was saying,” he said.

In addition to the team leader and the victim observer, there are others who provide shore support.

“They help the rescuers into dry suits. Everybody is tethered to a rope on the shore,” Mitchell said, adding there is at least one shore support person for each person in the water.

And for every two rescuers sent out, there are two more suited up standing by in case something happens to the first one out, Mitchell explained.

Because Mr. Brown had gone on to the ice as he was avoiding contact with police, Atteberry also donned a dry suit.

“We had a police officer also suit up and go out there with our officers. The police wanted to be there. They were there on the call. We gave him a crash course and got him out on the ice,” Mitchell explained, adding that the first firefighter was in a dry suit at 3:59 p.m.  

As the firefighters were suiting up and getting tethered, other team members threw out a rescue disc — “a frisbee with a rope on it” — in hopes that Mr. Brown would grab on. He did not. As that was being tried, the rescue raft was being inflated, something that can’t be done too fast or the raft will pop like a balloon.

As the firefighters were sliding the raft out to where Mr. Brown was, he went under the water at 4:11 p.m., Mitchell said.

“As our guys got out there, they took poles and were trying to feel for him. The water was a lot deeper than they’d been told. Originally, they were told it was waist deep and that he had been standing up. It was over 15 to 18 feet deep,” said Mitchell.

“When he went under, that’s when they dispatched Cornbelt (Fire Protection District) which is the county dive team. Their chief was there at 4:21 p.m.,” Mitchell said.

Lloyd Galey is a retired Champaign fire lieutenant who’s now the chief for Cornbelt. Mitchell said Galey, who carries his equipment in his personal vehicle, used to conduct ice rescue training sessions for Champaign firefighters.

“They ended up having to dive. (Mr. Brown) was out of the water and in the ambulance at 5:09 p.m.,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said one police officer and six different firefighters were in the water before the mission was complete.

Mitchell said after reviewing the reports and seeing a You Tube video of about 10 minutes of the rescue that was posted Wednesday, he feels like his colleagues did what they were supposed to do.

“They followed our ice rescue guidelines pretty much to a T. It’s a very low frequency (event) but a very high risk rescue. They did exactly what they were supposed to do. They established command ... they made visual contact and attempted to talk to him, threw rescue devices, and went on the water. Going on the water is the last thing you want to do. They did all the other things first,” Mitchell said.

Gallo said the police officers were frustrated standing out there without the proper equipment to perform a rescue.

Both Gallo and Mitchell said the officers and firefighters could hear bystanders urging them to rush in to the water to get Mr. Brown.

“There’s certain things we can control and certain things beyond our control,” said Gallo. “We commonly run toward the sound of gunfire.

But when there is thin ice and we’re not able to do things safely, we call firefighters. I’m very proud of our officers. I think they performed well under challenging circumstances,” he said.

Mitchell echoed that charging into the water was not the correct response.

“That’s not safe for anybody. One of the reasons we have procedures is because something has happened somewhere, sometime that you have learned from, and that’s why we have the procedures we do have,” Mitchell said.

“It might look like fiddling,” Mitchell said of the preparations, “but it’s making sure the person is safe to do his job because you don’t want to lose a rescuer.”

Mitchell said the dry suits used by the rescuers are designed to keep their bodies dry but there are openings, such as around the neck, where water can seep in.

Mitchell said from his training, he can say that once out of the water, the person in the suit feels okay for about 15 minutes before the cold starts to set in. Arrow Ambulance had a “rehabilitation unit” for the firefighters to warm in Tuesday night.

The last firefighters left the pond at 5:44 p.m.

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KOR wrote on January 01, 2013 at 8:01 pm


cwdog57 wrote on January 01, 2013 at 8:01 pm

i find it hard to believe he's still alive at carle. he was under water 45 mins.when he was finally pulled out. the rescue team seemed untrained in this sort of rescue. a simple ladder,pole and rope would have saved the mans life. they didn't even go onto the ice until the man went under and spent most of the time inflating a large lifeboat. i was there shortly after the man went in the water. it seemed like a simple rescue at the time. he was standing in a hole in the ice for a good 20 mins before he went under. he hollered "i love you camille"and went under.

the onlookers had a difficult time observing the rescue team fiddling with their"gear" and were being threatened with arrest. it doesn't really matter how stupid the guy was for attempting to flea across the ice. the point is there are a lot of these retention ponds at the shopping areas many are icing over and children are regularly in these areas. if they are untrained in basic water and ice saving techniques how could they save anyone who could break through the ice. 

Geeman wrote on January 01, 2013 at 9:01 pm

You have a better chance of surviving in a frozen lake, then in a normal lake. I believe he is alive. As for the rescue. There isn't much you can do. You can't risk more people going into the frozen lake. 

rsp wrote on January 02, 2013 at 12:01 am

The dive team is highly trained. They happen to train in all kinds of conditions. Part of that training is that you can't save anyone by putting yourself in danger. When he first fell in they immediately called for someone to get rope from Menard's. A ladder and a pole would not have done it, they would have gone through the ice. And he wasn't standing in it either. That pond is about 55 feet deep. 

Extreme cold slows the brain's need for oxygen which gives more time that someone can be revived from a drowning. People have been revived after being under longer, especially children. 

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 6:01 am

I'm so sorry you don't know what you are talking about. that pond is 15 feet deep when full and it is down for the winter, Further, there is not a 55 foot deep pond in the entire county much less in town...

rsp wrote on January 02, 2013 at 8:01 am

I was basing that on a news report.

Joe American wrote on January 02, 2013 at 8:01 am

River Bend.  Last I checked it was in Champaign Co., but someone could have snuck out and redrawn the county lines while we weren't looking.

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 7:01 am

Myself and one other man got so angry watching the fire dept rescue teams "playing on the bank" that we offered to be tied off and go in ourselves, and we certainly were threatened with arrest !

Joe American wrote on January 02, 2013 at 8:01 am

If you thought it was such a good idea to risk additional lives, why didn't you just jump in and save the guy yourself, even under the threat of arrest?  If the authorities weren't willing to jump in and save this guy, as you claim, then they certainly weren't willing to jump in to simply arrest you.  You may indeed have been arrested after you saved him, or maybe you wouldn't have, but either way you may have "saved his life". may not have made it out in a condition worth arresting.

REALLY R U KIDDING ME wrote on January 02, 2013 at 2:01 pm


perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 5:01 pm

yes really, a frisbie with a cord attached was the only effort made before he went under

dman0320 wrote on January 06, 2013 at 2:01 am

It's easy saying that after the fact. 

dman0320 wrote on January 06, 2013 at 2:01 am

I'm sure they weren't playing and aI'm sure they wanted to help. Get over yourself.  All you would've done was created two victims instead of just the one.

dman0320 wrote on January 06, 2013 at 2:01 am

You obviously do not understand the extent of the situation. Firefighters on the scene did not have the proper equipment to go in and get him right away.  As you could see from the footprints on the ice, a ladder probably would've broke through and the firefighters did not have the attire needed to take on a rescue such as this at first.  20 minutes may sound like a long time, but it's not.  I hate how people criticize because police and firefighters such as these put their lives on the line everyday and did all they could in this situation without putting themselves at risk.  While that is sometimes required, losing two firefighters trying to save this guy would not be worth it and in this case, the risk obviously outweighed the alternative.    

Smh123 wrote on January 01, 2013 at 8:01 pm

First mistake was running from police and second was running out onto a pond that isn't fully frozen. I can totally see this situation being turned around and police being blamed for not saving him! 

danvillenative wrote on January 01, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Your right cwdog. Quit blaming the criminals and the person causing a disturbance fleeing the police. Once again, blame the police or this time the rescue workers trying to save him.

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 7:01 am

Even the police haven't called this young man a criminal. No mention of him being convicted of a crime at all. And I never heard of running from the police after banging on a window getting someone a death sentence. as far as the person "watching the rescue teams in the water", they never stepped foot in the water until after he went under...

Joe American wrote on January 02, 2013 at 8:01 am


Ilovemykids wrote on January 01, 2013 at 9:01 pm

We saw this all happen from the beginning. The man was pushing a shopping cart down Town Center Blvd. He was approached by police and fled. We sat and watched the whole thing. Not once did I hear an officer threaten to arrest anyone. Those officers couldn't do anything until the fire dept arrived. Had they attempted to go on that ice it would have become a rescue attempt for multiple people. The fire dept arrived. I watched those men stay in that water and search until the dive team arrived. They did the best they could do under the terrible conditions. I did see the officers back people up and ask cars to get out of the way totally reasonable request. I hope this man recovers. Had he just obeyed the officers from the beginning it could have all been avoided. He made that choice to go on that pond. 



Ben Boneyard wrote on January 01, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Boy Scouts, First Responders, and certain other professionals are trained that 68% of those that go after someone in a very bad place, do not survive themselves.

Please refrain from negative comments regarding the first responders who are just doing the job for which they have been trained.

mstrom wrote on January 01, 2013 at 9:01 pm
Profile Picture

 We don't know what precisely caused the man to run onto the ice. I would suppose that just as we could assume he is "stupid", we could assume he is distraught and full of pain and anguish. I pray that if he is suffering that he finds healing for his mental and spiritual suffering.  We could all find ourselves on the thin ice someday—perhaps we already are.

“Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful...How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural--you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

cnneka1 wrote on January 01, 2013 at 10:01 pm

They couldn't throw the man a rope?  A flotation device of some sort?  After 20 minutes?  All of you who are laughing at the possible death of a man, no matter the circumstances, how cold-hearted can you be?  If it was your brother, father, son, etc., no matter what mistakes he made, you would be angry and hurt that he held on for 20 minutes and people just stood there and watched him die.  Of course there are protocols for first-responders... but when a house is burning and people are inside, screaming for help, do they just stand there and watch them burn or do they try everything they can to get them rescued?  When they are called to a crisis situation where someone has a gun and is holding people hostage, do they stand outside and listen to the hostages being slaughtered or do they try everything they can to save and help them?  So now, in this crisis situation, when a man was drowning, because of the potential danger to themselves they just stood there?  For 20 minutes?  What are they getting paid for?

True Story wrote on January 01, 2013 at 10:01 pm

"just stood there" ?? Are you joking?

cnneka1 wrote on January 01, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Honestly, I wasn't there.  Saying that they were just standing there is probably unfair.  However, most of you commenting weren't there either and have made some rather large assumptions, so we really don't know...were you there "True Story"?  

True Story wrote on January 01, 2013 at 11:01 pm

I was not. But I'm not making any assumptions on what happened (though I have some thoughts after reading ilovemykids comment who was in fact there) so why ask me? You make inflammatory remarks and now want to back track it was unfair. You should have thought out your comments before spouting off and accusing officers of "just standing there".

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 7:01 am

They (the police)did just stand there ! the only thing the police did was move the ever increasing angry crowd back when they started demanding the fire dept at least attempt to rescue the young man ! And the man did not have a shopping cart at all, so I don't know where or what ilovemykids saw, but it wasn't this young man.

rsp wrote on January 02, 2013 at 5:01 pm


Ilovemykids wrote on January 02, 2013 at 10:01 am

Yes it was this man!  He refused to stop for the police on Town Center Blvd.  Could have all been averted had he just listened!!

kuzn87 wrote on January 03, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I hope you aren't in need of assistance from the Heros of the Champaign police or fire department anytime soon... you are talking some serious smack! I bet you have never been in a situation where you would risk your life to save another so don't you judge these highly trained professionals! It sounds like you were there so why did you bravely risk life and limb to save this guy who had been troubling the community for days before finally wasting our tax dollars on acting like a fool?

wayward wrote on January 01, 2013 at 11:01 pm

From what I understand, people in freezing water often don't function too well, so I'm not sure whether the guy would have been able to pull himself to safety with a rope or flotation device like a marginal swimmer in warm water might.

dman0320 wrote on January 06, 2013 at 2:01 am

Apparently you do not have any knowledge in this area.  There are certain ways to go about these situations and if they had rushed or not followed these procedures, you would be reading about 3 dead instead of the one.  It was obvious that they would not have been able to pull him out by just walking out there. They are getting paid to look after sorry jokers like you.  I'm sure they all wanted to help and felt bad for not being able to.  Don't criticize unless you're willing to step up and serve.  They did it right.

BigD wrote on January 01, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Thank you Police,Fire, Rescue Personnel, and Menard's employees.  Onlookers, please just move along.....and let them do their job.

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 6:01 am

I was there and watched the entire pathetic thing from the begining, before any fire dept or rescue arrived.. And all of us watching were appalled and shocked that no attempt at all of a rescue was made AFTER  what looked like half of Champaign's fire resuce arrived!!.. They stood on the bank playing with equipment !.. Many of us pleaded with the rescue teams to tie off and get in the water to save that young man, and we certainly were threatened with arrest !.. Not until after he went under did the first person get in the water !... So go ahead and try to cover this up, but remember, our cell phones keep perfect time, and many of us were on them, there is your record of how long it took to attempt a recovery. I say recovery because no attempt was made at all for a rescue... And whoever is saying that pond is 15 feet deep is mistaken or lieing, the pond level is down and the young man was standing in neck deep icewater... Shame on the Champaign fire and recue depts !

rsp wrote on January 02, 2013 at 8:01 am

Maybe you aren't aware that the fire department isn't allowed to just jump in and approach someone who is a potential danger. Who they don't know if they have a weopon or not. Why would I bring that up? He was just in an altercation with someone and he refused to comply with any instructions. He refused to take his hand out of his pocket. He also has a history of fighting with the police. Would you want to fight with someone in freezing water? Maybe causing you to go under? Before you file a lawsuit I suggest you find out a little more about the facts. 

msgumby29 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 12:01 pm

If you are not a trained fireman, police or diver I would not be so quick to judge what they did or didn't do.  These people are human also and have families at home that depend on them also.  When people put theirselves in danger running from the police why should other lives be taken because of their stupidity or poor judgement

.  Why was he running in the first place.  If you aren't guilty of something don't run.  I am so tired of our Police, firemen etc. always getting blamed.  I am sorry about the man loosing his life and it is tragic, but it was his fault not the police, firemen etc.  Sometimes people have to be accountable for what they do.  These Public servants are paid to put their lives on the line everyday, but that doesn't mean they have to take chances with their lives foolishly.  Maybe we should start supporting our Rescue people instead of always trying to find fault.  If  we weren't there we have no right to criticize and if you were and not trained in rescue or not know what was going on exactly between the rescue efforts, maybe you should just step back and quit trying to make a big deal out of a tragic situation.  Stand up for the good guys once in a while.   

dman0320 wrote on January 06, 2013 at 2:01 am

You have no idea what you are talking about. if it was neck deep water, they would've reached him. The rescuers couldn't stand and that pole they stuck down there was a lot longer than "neck deep".  It takes time to get things going.  You couldn't have done it any faster and you didn't make any attempt to do anything before they got there.

nana25 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 7:01 am

If he were indeed standing in neck deep water, why didn't he just wait until proper help arrived? I love all you arm chair quarterbacks .IF THINGS WERE SO SIMPLE, why didn't you perform such a seemingly simple rescue? Is your life worth more than the police or fire personnel's?

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 7:01 am

it's called hypothermia, ever try reading a book ?

cwdog57 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 7:01 am

i was there and have it on video as do many others that the rescue team stood there milling around until someone could make a decision on what to do. as i said earlier basic red cross water safety training could have saved him. not some new fangled device. a frisbee on a string rope was repeatedly cast out to the man but was not heavy enough to reach him with any accuracy. 

also it goes without saying that the past fears of the cpd has reared its ugly head. he  evidently had an altercation with his girlfriend in a public place no more than that. that makes him a crininal? he was black and he ran from the police....okay, so he was a criminal.

msgumby29 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 12:01 pm

 If what you say is true about him just having a fight with his girlfriend is another reason for them to be more careful..  Did you just read about the man who killed his girlfriend and then himself the other day.  These are not always simple little fights.  And yes it sounds like you have something about the police and black people.  If the man was white would you be so quick to blast the police.  Black or white, laws are laws.  People want equality, then let's be equall in all ways, including abiding by the law and suffering the consequences when we don't. Let's not make this a race issue.

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I stayed away from any race talk, but you asked the question so here's my answer. If he'd been white, he'd be alive now..

ronaldo wrote on January 02, 2013 at 7:01 pm

OK popcorn boy, now you're just talking nonsense. 

When logic and debate fails, play the race card?  Smooth move.

rsp wrote on January 02, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Is this all about his race for you?

germ69 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 3:01 pm

read your basic red cross water safety manual again... but then again, this was not anything basic.  just how does the manual say to rescue a person (who was either a criminal or not) in approximately 15 feet of freezing water, away from the ponds edges?  dont forget to to add that he had ran out onto the ice and fell through.

mattd149 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 7:01 am

from what it sounds like you were looking to see a hero in action.  Its very sad that the man may well have drowned.  but just because you thought they should do more doesnt mean they didnt do everything in their power.  Just as when firefighters are attacking a fire there comes a time when it is unsafe to attempt entry.  regardless if there are screams coming from the inside or not. Training not only teaches you how to deal with a situation.  It teaches you when and where it is safe to use those skills.   People on here act like they were laughing and having a good time when this man was drowning.  Im sure they feel just as bad as everyone else that watched.  The moral of the story is if you run from the police bad things will happen.  dont put blame on this mans life on the firemen or the police. 

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 7:01 am

I was looking for them to do their jobs ! If they don't like the dangerous aspect of it, they could find other work..

cwdog57 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 7:01 am

i think they thought it was gonna be a fairly easy rescue(from my observation at the scene) at first and they WERE upbeat  and sort of fooling around. after the half hearted attempt at using the frisbee on string (ok that doest work) let's try something else. let's inflate these boats we got here(ok how long does that take?) in the end they went out the old fashion way tied to a rope dragging a life boat sliding around on the top of the ice until they reached the hole where the man had disappeared under the water.

i don't care what you say, i was there, i have taken red cross water safety training instruction. everyone thought it was a simple rescue. i know if they could do it over it would be different. it was their arrogance. big guys with their toys.

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 7:01 am

I was there too. I was one of the people threatened with arrest. You are exactly right, and when the lawsuit is filed I will be there as a witness. As will many others. the time-stamps on cell phones don't lie, but I've already seen them reduce the time they claim this young man was in that fridgid water... They didn't lift a finger to help him until he went under. They  were playing like children.

cwdog57 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 8:01 am

i contacted wicd. anyone who witnessed this could you please call them.

Crowsnest wrote on January 03, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Either way, he should be responsible for his own actions.  Think about that - Be Responsible for your own actions.  You run over thin ice, guess what...  So, if I speed down the highway and hit a tree and die, is that my fault?  If I jump out of a plane and my chut does not open and I die, is it my fault?  My point - we choose our actions.  Be ready for the end result.  

Joe American wrote on January 02, 2013 at 9:01 am

cwdog, one factor that you're failing to figure into the equation is that this guy was obviously confrontational, and "rescuing" him most likely would not have been similar to rescuing someone who had fallen into the pond on accident.  To be rescued, the victim needs to be cooperative.  From what it sounds like, there's a good chance this guy would have struggled with the rescuers and would have put them in danger, too.

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 9:01 am

Joe, you are the one assuming, I was there, as was cwdog. The young man did run and fall through the ice. But not one police officer has said this person was confrontational. And he did , after falling through the ice, make every single gesture he was asked to make, such as raising his arms in the air, holding them out to his side, and so on.. And there was no attempt to rescue this young man. Only after he went under did anyone attempt to recover him. There must have been at least two dozen so-called rescuers there that did nothing. How you say he was "obviously confrontational" is beyond logic. Running away, by any definition is not confrontaional..

mattd149 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 9:01 am

They were called because he was involved in a disturbance.Fleeing the police automatically makes you a dangerous subject.  The police have to assume you are confrontational after you have tried to allude them.  They cant just walk up to you as if everything is cool or you would have the upper hand on them in a confrontation.  If one flees the police he is either hiding something or has did wrong and doesnt want to get caught.  they had to use caution as he had ran from them for some reason. if he did think he did anything he wouldnt have ran and would be alive now.   

Joe American wrote on January 02, 2013 at 10:01 am

If you're putting additional lives at risk, you NEED to make assumptions. Only a fool wouldn't.   This wasn't a case of a mothers brakes failing and having her van plummet into the pond with her infants in the back seat - this is a case of a possibly dangerous suspect fleeing from police and for some odd reason, running onto a pond.  Besides, there's no question that the guy was being disorderly at McAlister's and immediately afterward, hauled bricks when he saw the police coming.   Why do you think he'd have been disorderly moments before but not when rescue followed him into the pond??  YOU are making the assumption that the fleeing suspect would have gracefully been taken into custody when there's not one thing that would have indicated that he would have.  If you're suggesting that the fire rescue should have jumped in to save the guy without the capacity to restrain him if necessary, only to have him struggle with the rescuers and take innocent lives with him, you really need to rethink this.  Apparently they don't make crack like they used to.

Crowsnest wrote on January 03, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Weren't there two businesses that called the police on this guy - total of 4 calls in 3 days.

cwdog57 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 10:01 am

are you kidding! this guy was keeping still , was NOT flailing in the water. he was patiently waiting for assistance. it wasn't like that at all. why do you think he was a criminal? really he was just a kid of twenty. the only thing he was guilty of was poor judgement,common in most twenty year olds.

mattd149 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 11:01 am

ive never once thought about running from the police. that is not common among twenty year olds.

mattd149 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 9:01 am


sand13 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 9:01 am

I was there as well... Here's something you all need to keep in mind while you continue to bash police officers, fire fighters, rescue & dive teams... If it was your husband, or family member you would also want them to insure their safety before they went out on thin ice to save someone...otherwise, there would be more than one death.  Everyone wants to blame someone and it won't fix or change anything.  Those men were doing everything possible to get ready to go out there and also were trying to throw things to him at first while getting ready as an attempt.  This is their job, its in their "bones" to save someone... So please STOP saying they didn't try.  Until you can fill their shoes, STOP BASHING.  One day you may need help and those police officers, fire fighters, or rescue could be the one to save you.

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 9:01 am

they should not only be fired, they should, and I hope are brought up on charges.

hd2006 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 10:01 am

Fired for what?  You may want to research Supreme Court Rulings before you make stupid statements. The police have no legal obligation to protect citizens unless that person is in their custody. Law enforcement is just that, enforcing laws. If that duty protects a life all the better. Also the first responders, I.E fire personnel have no legal obligation to rescue anyone if the rescue of that person or persons could result in their (first responders) death or injury.  These first responders do this because they have it in their blood. They try their best to make the world a better place. More than I can say for some of these people on here. What’s the most risk you have ever taken for a stranger, taking out your cell phone and videotaping their last days on earth?  You feel like a real hero for doing that!

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 10:01 am

actually, I have risked my life to protect people I don't know. And I don't expect anyone to be fired for this, this is the same county that has a States Attorney who's husband left a loaded service revolver on top of his car unattended and even after public outcry, not a thing was done...

mattd149 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 11:01 am

you are soo adement about how the police and fire failed this man. Why did you fail him?  do you think that they would still arrest you if you saved his life?  Its easy to say how bad they are for not putting there life at risk trying to save this man. 

marshea wrote on January 02, 2013 at 10:01 pm

A rescue team job is to rescue . definition:"responsive operations that usually involve the saving of life or prevention of injury during an incident or dangerous situation."  Yes it was an unsafe situation but all rescue situations are unsafe.  If it was so unsafe then why did they wait until Mr. Brown went under the water and then several men went out onto the unsafe ice????? Face facts they failed  at least attempt to save this man life.  It was horrible to watch the rescue time do nothing but throw a rope to the drowning man and they could not throw the rope to him correctly.  This was horrible to watch.  The police and media should tell the truth.

mattd149 wrote on January 04, 2013 at 9:01 am

Why did you sit and watch it then?  This is why the police block off areas for many blocks when something has happened.  Most people can not handle what rescue personnel see everyday but their nosiness will make them stand and watch it happen.  Its not the movies, sometimes the worst scenerio is what you get.

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 9:01 am

like they saved him ?.. no thanks

Crowsnest wrote on January 03, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Agree - how many people do they save every year?  Anyone counting?  Thank them for the jobs they do.  

dman0320 wrote on January 06, 2013 at 2:01 am

Just so you know, they don't get paid to act rash and stupid just to put their life on the line, they are paid to do a job, do it safely, and go home at the end of the day.  These people know what it is like to put your life on the line. You don't. Get over yourself.

mattd149 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 9:01 am

there is a difference between dangerous and stupid.

Ilovemykids wrote on January 02, 2013 at 9:01 am

There most certainly was a shopping cart. It all started on Town Center Blvd. He was pushing a shopping cart down the middle of a west bound lane. He was approached by two squads one from behind and one head on. He pushed the cart to the side and He took off. He ran through the old dog and suds. There was another officer pulling up there. He then chose to go onto the ice!!!

Ilovemykids wrote on January 02, 2013 at 10:01 am

In fact, if you drive by the old Dog & Suds it still sits there today!  It's a shame because this all could have been avoided had he just stopped like the officers asked him to do!


jdmac44 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 10:01 am

Anyone who faults the first responders for not going in without proper're out of your gourd.  Going into water that cold can mean death in seconds.  If you're so brave for their sake, why didn't you go in?  Save your righteous indignation.

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 10:01 am

LOL. right, first responders on rescue squads always show up without proper gear, I stand corrected.. talk about out of one's gourd..

jdmac44 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 10:01 am

The man chose to go out on the ice, that doesn't require anyone else to sacrifice their own life to make a ill-fated rescue attempt.

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 10:01 am

they could have been just as successful at rescuing that young man as they were at recovering his limp body, had they made an attempt in exactly the same way as the recovery...

99characters wrote on January 02, 2013 at 11:01 am

For those bashing the Police and First Responders, please check here and see what happened in California.

Please let the Pros do the job!

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 11:01 am

For every rescue that goes wrong, there are thousands that go right... this means nothing...They did nothing to save this young man. they waited until it was a body recovery... If you are so concerned with rescue statistics.. show the ones that are successful....

rsp wrote on January 02, 2013 at 1:01 pm

If you weren't so busy filming you would have noticed that they had to call in the dive team. They did that from the start. The dive team carries the equipment they needed to go into the water. Wet suits, boat, air tanks, etc. They don't carry that stuff on every truck. There isn't room for it. Maybe you should ask when was the last time they had to do a water rescue? And despite that they train year-round. 

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 11:01 am

... And in a related story: Illinois city stupidly installs and maintains multiple dangerous ponds in a very congested shopping district....

mattd149 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 12:01 pm

They are water retention ponds for water to drain into since the ground is all covered concrete.  If they were not there the parking lots would all flood when if rained.

99characters wrote on January 02, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Man falls into frozen pond while fleeing from police - New Years day 2013 - Champaign, IL

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 12:01 pm

even though edited, this clearly shows no attempts to rescue this man until after  he went under, thanks for posting it nation-wide

harleyowner07 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Did you not watch the same video I did? You can see the first responders trying to throw ropes with floatation devices on the end out to the guy. They tried over and over until they had the proper safety boat ready to go get him. They did the best they could without putting their lives at risk without the proper equipment.

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I was there !... they tossed a darn frisbie with a cord attached halfway to the guy for 15 minutes !.. And there were  people there with the same ropes they finally used to go out on that ice with after he went under.. no amount of excuses is going to justify how they let this man die !

dray wrote on January 02, 2013 at 3:01 pm
Profile Picture

Doesn't this terrible situation demonstrate the need to control access to these ponds?  If only there had been stricter access, (a wall or fence surrounding the pond) this tragedy could have been averted.  I mean, it is just like tighter gun control will prevent gun violence, right?

jmp wrote on January 02, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Yesterday afternoon 2 teenage girls were walking on the partially frozen lake behind our house.  My husband and I began forming an action plan--starting with calling neighbors whose homes were in the closest proximity to these clueless girls.  Finally we found someone at home who ran outside to tell them to get off the ice.

Thankfully, the girls got back to shore safely.  But it was very difficult it was to watch this dangerous situation unfold. I can indentify with the bystanders and first responders.  There could very easily have been 3 drownings in our community yesterday.

It seems to me that many NG posts are difficult to follow and mean spirited.  A man has died.  Could we show some courtesy and respect?


germ69 wrote on January 02, 2013 at 4:01 pm


@ perryupopcorn, so you think people should have tied a rope together and one person shimmy out to the person in the water that has broken through the ice?  How much ice had collapsed around the person?  How far can one shimmy out to the subject who had fallen through the ice.  By a very gracious estimation do you think that a person could have gotten closer then 10 feet?  NOW you have more then one person in freezing cold water that need rescued.  Who do you rescue 1st? 

Okay, lets bash the police for not jumping into the freezing water, with approximately 30 pounds of extra gear on, to save this person.  Lets get better, lets bash the fireman for not jumping right into get this person.  Its just a fact of life that it takes time to get gear out and deploy that gear.  Not all firefighters are trained in this type of rescue.  So the city should extend this training to ALL their firefighters.  (Folks even at a house fire, they have to deploy their gear.  Albeit the firefighters do it quickly, they still have to deploy it.)

You act like this was one big conspiracy to let one young man die. 

Let me advise you of the biggest rule when making a rescue like this;  “DON’T MAKE YOURSELF A VICTIM ALSO!”  Yes, I am a trained rescue diver and am trained to make rescues like this.  I would never jump in alone in this situation.  There is a reason rescuers dive in pairs, its for our safety!  If something goes wrong with one diver, we need the ability to safely extract the other diver.  No one ever wants to see something like this play out. 

No one will ever know why this young man ran across the ice, but he has paid the ultimate price for his actions.

My thoughts are why are people standing around with their cellular phones out recording this horrific incident with their CHILDREN standing there watching.  Why do you hear “adolescent voices,”  maybe those people should be crucified as well.

Lastly perryupopcorn why don’t you offer yourself up to the family of this young man as an expert witness in any civil suit.  I am sure with our hands on experience you will help the case out tremendously, heck you might even win it for them. 

Let the bashing begin perryupopcorn.

God Bless…

perryupopcorn wrote on January 02, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I don't think, I know, they did exactly what you said in your first sentence. Only they waited until the man went under to do it. And that is my outrage over the entire situation.

rsp wrote on January 02, 2013 at 5:01 pm

They shimmied out with the help of a boat. It was a team of people too. You are wantng them to have risked their lives and their coworkers lives by prancing out without the boat and without following any safety protocols. 

perryupopcorn wrote on January 03, 2013 at 7:01 am

They did their prancing on the bank, and as you said, it was a team of people that finally went out on that ice, and all of them together didn't break through. As far as what you call a boat, it was a recovery float,  and they were all secured with ropes in order to be pulled out should the need arise.. The same ropes they could have used for over thirty minutes before he went under... All you people insiting they waited for equipment are ignoring the fact that in the end the equipment was a rope !