(Council Bluffs) A man suspected of trying to steal copper suffered severe burns to his hands Saturday.
Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker said Mid American Energy responded to an area on 225th Street northeast of Council Bluffs that was without power and found a power pole that had been cut down with a chain saw.
Danker said the Sheriff’s Office was called out to investigate and in the same general time frame they were also called to Jennie Edmundson Hospital where a man was brought in with severe burns to his hands.
“This male had basically stated that he was helping a friend with a generator and he had gotten injured with the generator,” said Danker. “He didn’t have any specific address or names or place where this occurred and the medical staff said these burns were not consistent with any type of electrical burn you would get with a generator.”
Danker said the man was eventually transported to the Clarkson Burn Unit in Omaha. Investigators interviewed the man again and his stories did not match up.
“We believe he had another individual with him that was helping him with this and we believe he was dropped off at the hospital by this individual and that individual left, so we’re trying to find out the identity of that person also,” said Danker. “We have not charged this individual yet.”
Danker added, “The medical staff said they may have to amputate part of the individual’s hands due to the severity of the burns.”
Mid American Energy said there was approximately $10,000 damage to the power pole and equipment.