A man already wanted on various charges in three communities added Arlington to his list yesterday after he was pulled out of the Mystic River and charged with breaking into a local home and trying to carry off some of its contents in a stolen U-Haul truck, police say.
Police say Joseph Kahler, 30, a wandering man whose last known address is in Weymouth, was busy around 1:15 p.m. on Saturday carrying stuff out of a house he'd broken into - via a kitchen window - on Mystic Lake Drive to the U-Haul he and a lady friend had parked outside. Then the occupants arrived home and called police.
By the time police arrived, the truck was gone, but officers spotted it and followed it quietly until it stopped on Coral Street, just across Mystic Valley Parkway from the Mystic River, and Kahler and the woman got out and ran away. Fleet-footed officers quickly caught up with the woman, but, police say, Kahler ran along the river for several blocks until he got to the River Street Bridge where, witnesses told police, he ran onto the ice atop the river and under the bridge:
Officers, along with Arlington Police K-9 Eiko, went under the bridge and ordered KAHLER to come out. Officers observed fresh footprints on the ice and located KAHLER on the other side of the bridge.
KAHLER again began to flee onto River Street and then toward the river. K-9 Eiko was deployed when KAHLER refused to comply with orders to stop. KAHLER then ran onto the ice where both he and K-9 Eiko fell through the ice and into the water. K-9 Eiko did not make contact with the suspect and was called back to the river bank, and KAHLER was able to stand up in the water. KAHLER refused multiple orders to come out of the water and refused to grab a safety line police threw to him. An officer was eventually able to reach him and pull him out of the water.
Paramedics from the Arlington and Medford Fire departments were on scene and immediately provided treatment to KAHLER for cold exposure.
Police say that after being checked out at a local hospital for potential hypothermia, Kahler, now clad in a johnny, was taken to Arlington Police HQ for booking on charges of felony breaking and entering in the daytime, resisting arrest, failure to stop for police and possession of a Class C substance, the latter for a substances that sure looked like heroin that officers found in the U-Haul - where they also found stuff taken from the Mystic Lake Road home.
Kahler was already wanted on four separate warrants issued by courts in Boston, Weymouth and Quincy. The woman was not charged with the break-in, but was also wanted on her own warrants, out of Worcester and Boston, police say.