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A man police suspect was involved in a copper burglary and armed confrontation last week is accused of assaulting the officers who arrested him at Lincoln police headquarters overnight Monday, a department spokeswoman said. 

Officers had arrested Mitchell D. Wachter, 43, near 23rd and U streets just before midnight Monday and took him to the main station at 575 S. 10th St., Officer Angela Sands said. 

He had been wanted on suspicion of burglary, terroristic threats, being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon and use of a weapon to commit a felony in connection with the incident in the 2200 block of North 53rd Street, Sands said. 

On April 5, a neighbor saw someone suspicious leaving a vacant home on the block, started asking questions and was threatened with a handgun, police said. Officers who were called to investigate later discovered $500 of copper pipe had been taken from the house. 

At the police station Monday, Wachter left an unlocked interview room in an attempt to escape, police said. 

Wachter punched an officer who confronted him, and a struggle ensued between the officer, Wachter and an investigator in the hallway, Sands said. 

An officer deployed a Taser after Wachter continued to fight, she said. 

The officers were able to handcuff him, but he continued to struggle as they walked him outside, Sands said. 

All three were taken to a local hospital. 

Wachter was checked out by medical staff, as is required by department policy when a Taser is used, she said. The officer suffered cuts to his face and bruising among other injuries. The investigator sustained wrist and knee injuries, Sands said. 

Wachter was taken to Lancaster County jail on suspicion of two counts of assault on an officer as well as allegations related to the April 5 burglary and confrontation.

Investigators are looking into whether Wacther was involved in a string of more than 60 copper thefts from vacant homes in Lincoln since last August, Sands said.

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On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.


Riley Johnson reports on breaking news and public safety issues in Lincoln and southeast Nebraska.

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