Police: Man steals East Moline fire truck and drives it into Mississippi River

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HAMPTON, Illinois -- Around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22nd, emergency crews responded to reports of a fire truck that had crashed into the river bank.

Upon arrival, it was discovered that a man stole an East Moline fire truck, crashed it into the bank of the Mississippi River, and then jumped into the river "and tried to elude officers," said East Moline Police Captain Tom Reagan.

Members of the East Moline Fire Department were inside a building on 15th Avenue conducting inspections when the truck was stolen, Reagan said.

East Moline Police Captain Tom Reagan says he hasn't seen anything like this in his 20 plus years as an officer.

The alleged truck thief was identified as Nathan Stottler, who, after being corralled by police boats, was eventually pulled from the river and arrested.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Reagan said officials weren't yet sure whether Stottler was going to be taken to the hospital or to the jail.

East Moline's Fire Chief says the truck was not left running while outside but that it does not require a key to start.

He says they're looking into the incident so that it doesn't happen again.

You can see surveillance video of the moment the truck was taken below.