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Police and dog chase break-in suspect into ice before arrest

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Weymouth man, 30, arraigned on multiple charges

UPDATED Jan. 22: A 30-year-old Weymouth man was arraigned on multiple charges after allegedly breaking into a home on Mystic Lake Drive and being chased by police onto frigid Mystic River ice on a 5-degree afternoon.

Joseph Kahler was arrested Saturday, Jan. 15, after a homeowner reported arriving home with children to find the kitchen window open and seeing an unknown male walking through the yard to a U-Haul truck parked on the street.

Marcela Dwork of the Middlesex District Attorney's Office reported Jan. 19 that Kahler was arraigned the day before on the charges of breaking-and-entering during the daytime to commit a felony, resisting arrest, failure to stop, possession of a Class A substance and possession of a Class C substance. He pleaded not guilty. Judge David Frank set bail at $1,000 cash with the conditions that he stay away from and have no contact with the victims or their residence. The next date in this case is Feb. 9.

A police report says six officers arrived about 1:15 p.m. and were notified that the U-Haul truck, a 2012 GM Savana, had left the area and was traveling on Newton Street. Officers quickly located it and began to follow the vehicle at a safe distance. The vehicle soon stopped on Coral Street, and the male driver, later identified as Kahler, and an adult female passenger exited the vehicle and fled on foot.

Female passenger, chase

Police quickly located the female passenger, and she was taken into custody without incident.

The reporting officer wrote that he was behind the fleeing suspect with police dog Eiko and yelled at him multiple times to get on the ground. He lost sight of the suspect for a time on Park Street and then saw the van's passenger running toward him, and she was looking behind her. Joined by another officer, the two handcuffed the woman, 30, of Worcester.

Jeff Barndt reports for ACMi:

The owner of the home that was the target of the alleged break-in told police that the suspect had headed toward Mystic Valley Parkway. A few minutes later, dispatch reported talking to a witness who was watching the suspect walk along the river bank.

Police went to the bridge at River Street after the witness told them that the suspect went under the bridge and onto the ice. Seen hiding in the other side of the bridge, the suspect then ran onto River Street. He was told numerous times to get on the ground; instead, he ran toward the bridge and then into the icy water. The report says he refused all commands, and so Eiko was sent "for the apprehension."

At that point, the suspect and Eiko "crashed through the ice and went under water." As both surfaced, police called Eiko "back to a heel position on the bank as the suspect stood up in the water."

The report says Eiko made no contact with the suspect.

The suspect refused multiple orders to leave the water and declined to grab a safety line thrown to him. Finally, an officer grabbed him by his sweatshirt and pull him out.  

Treated for exposure

Paramedics from the Arlington and Medford Fire departments were on scene and immediately provided treatment to Kahler for cold exposure.

Through the subsequent investigation, a Jan. 16 news release says, police learned that the U-Haul truck was allegedly stolen. Police also found a bag on the property where the alleged breaking and entering had occurred containing numerous items from inside the home. During an inventory of the U-Haul truck, officers also located a substance believed to be heroin.

Back at the Mystic Lake Drive home, the resident family said they were returning home when they saw the two front doors open. They turned the corner and saw a U-Haul parked "at a weird angle." Pulling into the driveway, they saw a kitchen window wide open. They said they knew it had been closed when they left.

Both suspects were transported to different hospitals, which were not identified.

The female, identified as Skye Gauthier, will be charged with warrants and breaking-and-entering in the daytime, a felony.

Kahler was charged with breaking-and-entering in the daytime, a felony; resisting arrest, failure to stop for police; and possessing a Class C substance. He was also held on four active warrants from district courts in Boston, Quincy and Weymouth.

Chief comments

"I would like to commend the officers for their diligent, exhaustive work that resulted in the arrest of the suspect after he went into the water and refused attempts by officers to rescue him. Thankfully, our officers, drawing on their training, experience and professionalism, brought a safe conclusion to this incident," Chief Julie Flaherty said in the release. "I would also like to thank the bystanders who reported seeing the suspect at various points and ultimately assisted officers in locating him."

The female passenger was also transported to an area hospital for an evaluation. Police learned that she has two active warrants for her arrest, out of Worcester District Court and a Boston court, and she will be sent a summons for the warrants at a later date. She is not being charged in connection to this incident at this time and as a result, her name is not being released.

Kahler was transported to the Arlington Police Department for booking.

In June 2016, Kahler was arrested on two warrants and faced a drug charge after police say they found a bag of heroin on him, The Patriot Ledger reported

Jan. 4, 2022: Police arrest alleged drug dealer

This news summary was published Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. It was provided by Leah Comins of John Guilfoil Public Relations. It was updated Jan. 19 after YourArlington received the police report and arraignment. It was updated Jan. 22, to add ACMi video window.

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