Man arrested after storm sewer standoff was wanted by MCSO for crimes earlier Tuesday

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office was already searching for 37-year-old Eli Swartzentruber when he showed up Tuesday at Seminary Park, and threatened several people.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a residence on Koontz Road for a weapons call around 8:33 a.m. Tuesday after Swartzentruber allegedly entered a residence.

Once inside the residence, around 6:30 a.m., Swartzentruber, asked a woman if she wanted to live underground, and the woman said she didn’t. He then brandished a 16inch by 4 inch machete, and told the woman he’d be back in 10 minutes, according to an MCSO report. He began to hastily pack the woman’s belongings into a bag.

He told the woman he had stolen a truck in Worthington, and had to get it back before sunrise, because law enforcement was looking for him. The woman told him she didn’t want to go to jail, but he insisted, and said he’d bail her out, and said police would have to kill him.

He then brandished the machete again, and began squeezing the woman’s neck causing pain in her neck, and back. She said she had difficulty breathing. Then he tried to stick his tongue in the woman’s mouth.

He soon left, and appeared at Seminary Park between 9 and 10 a.m., when he threatened several people. According to a BPD press release, after he threatened the people, he went to a sewer storm tunnel to evade police, who he threatened to kill when they made contact with him.

Bloomington police, the MSCO, Indiana State Police, and others, spent the next several hours searching for the suspect before he gave himself up around 5 p.m.

In addition to charges from the BPD, and what might come from other police agencies, the MCSO is charging Swartzentruber with level 4 felon sexual battery, level 5 felony intimidation, level 6 felony strangulation, and level 6 felony residential entry.

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