Murder suspect arrested in Austin

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 12, 2002

Austin police officers arrested an Iowa murder suspect in the Austin Medical Center parking lot Thursday afternoon.

According to police reports, Eric Douglas Esse, 34 of Albert Lea, was taken into custody at 4:57 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot outside the urgent care entrance at AMC.

He was accompanied by his wife, who was not wanted on the Iowa warrants, and was released after questioning.

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According to Capt. Curt Rude, Be On Look Out (BOLO) advisories were issued by the Freeborn County Sheriff's Office, which indicated the suspect and his wife were headed to Austin to visit the stress center at AMC.

The Cerro Gordo County, Iowa warrants charge Esse with the Thanksgiving day robbery and murder of a 44-year-old man in Iowa.

According to the police captain, Austin police were at the hospital, conducting surveillance inside the facility and the parking lot entrances, when Esse and his wife arrived in their blue van. The suspect was not armed when he was taken into custody. He was later turned over the Freeborn County authorities on a $182,500 cash-only bond to begin extradition proceedings to Iowa.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Police shoot dog

Two officers were dispatched to 1812 1/2 E Oakland Ave. to respond to a domestic situation reported by a female who wanted her boyfriend removed from the house, according to the police report.

When officers arrived at the scene, they met a 32-year old male outside the house. The man informed the officers that he was a friend of the party involved in the dispute and that there was a dog loose.

One of the officers, who was about 25 feet back, saw Stripes, a brown pit bull, approaching. Officers told the man to control the dog and he responded by saying that it would not bite. According to Captain Curt Rude, the dog began snarling and growling. The officer asked the man to call the dog and get it back. When there was no response a single shot was fired from a service gun hitting the dog in the right eye and the bullet exited its cheek, according to police. The dog then ran in the house.

The woman who made the call came out of the house and told the police officers, it was her and boyfriend's house. Reports said the woman became agitated after police officers found no evidence to remove her boyfriend from the premises

The two residents were cited for letting the dog run loose and the 32-year-old male was taken to Minneapolis were he was wanted for outstanding warrants.

Stripes was taken to Austin Veterinary Clinic and treated for the injury. Stripes was reported to be alert the following morning.

Rude said there will be a review in the incident.