(Photo: Screen Grab via KSPR)
A brazen burglar found stuck in the chimney of a business he was trying to rob on Wednesday was charged with several felonies after he attempted to escape from police and emergency service workers who rescued him.
Michael Wayne Case Jr., 38, was stuck in the chimney of a pawn shop in Harrison, Ark., for nearly 10 hours before he was discovered by surprised owner Ernest Raney, according to a KSPR report.
"I never imagined anybody coming down the chimney," the business owner told KSPR. "In part because nobody can come down the chimney. It's sealed off at the bottom, but if that's not enough of a deterrent there's this.
"That's uh, 10 and a half," Raney explained while measuring the diameter of the opening of the chimney on his roof.
"It's hard to believe that this person got down in there, it's real hard to believe," he noted.
Raney said he initially thought an animal or bird was stuck in his chimney. When he realize the sound coming from his Chimney was a grown man, he tried to offer help but Case got violent.
"I thought well a bird or animal was probably in there so I wanted to go up and check, and when I got up there it was a person looking up at me, and I asked him what he was doing down there and why he was trying to break into the building and he got real violent at that time," said Raney.
At this point Raney, who lives with his wife, Marie, alerted the police to the man stuck in his chimney.
The police were a bit surprised by the situation when they got Raney's call, but with the help of the fire department, they were able to remove him from the chimney. The police, however, said that Case owes Raney a thanks.
"He (Case) could have been in there a long time before anyone knew he was there, no water, no food, no anything," said Harrison police assistant chief Sam Martin.
According to Raney, however, he felt sorry for the burglar.
"I actually felt kind of sorry for him, he looked pitiful," said Raney.
Case was charged with resisting arrest, among other things because he tried to escape even though he was surrounded by the police, firefighters and EMS who had rescued him from the chimney.
Raney explained that he caused approximately $2,500 in damage to the chimney because he kicked out the tile sides to create a pocket to crouch in.