Police couldn’t catch a robbery suspect who fled into a cornfield in Wisconsin, but the mosquitoes were up to the task.
Officers pursued a pair of robbery suspects accused of stealing three bottles of Jägermeister in the town of Cambellsport, with one of the suspects taking them on a high-speed chase that ended near a cornfield. Police said that John Wilson, who they claim was supposed to be the getaway driver for the robbery, fled when the store owner chased the other suspect out of the store. After three miles, Wilson parked the getaway car and ran into a cornfield, police said.
He didn’t last long, ABC 7 Chicago reported. After an hour in the field that was swarmed with mosquitoes, Wilson put his hands up and surrendered himself to police.
He also asked officers to help give him some relief from the insects.
“When we handcuffed him he asked us to wipe his forehead because he had 15-20 mosquitoes on his forehead at that time,” said police chief Thomas Dornbrook.
The police chief said that the conditions were difficult for the officers as well, with those in the search for the suspect forced to go back and get bug spray before they could continue looking.
This has been a particularly bad year for mosquitos in Wisconsin. As Wisconsin Public Radio reported, it was actually the significant snow cover and relatively warm temperatures over the winter that contributed to the swarms of nuisance insects now plaguing the state.
“Mosquitoes will spend wintertime alive,” said Jamee Hubbard, a professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. “There are some species that spend the winter as larvae in the water. Some of them spend the winter as eggs, and some of them spend the winter as adults, maybe under leaf litter or under bark. When you get a lot of snow cover it does a good job of insulating, allowing those mosquitoes to be able to survive.”
The mosquito-friendly conditions persisted later in the year. When that snow melted in the spring, it left large pools of water that created a perfect place for the mosquitos to breed, Hubbard added. The warm and rainy weather in recent weeks has made the epidemic even worse, as the robbery suspect found out the hard way.
While the mosquitos may have forced suspect John Wilson to surrender to police, the other alleged Jägermeister thief managed to escape.