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Police Chopper Lands Near Neighborhood, Causes Commotion


Photo: Video by kmtv.com

Police Chopper Lands Near Neighborhood, Causes Commotion

By Kimberly Foley. CREATED Jul 25, 2014 - UPDATED: Jul 25, 2014
Omaha, NE - The Omaha Police helicopter landed near a neighborhood park Thursday night.
It caused a whole lot of commotion near 78th and Cass.
It turned out to be a bunch of teens hitting the bottle and smoking pot.
18-year-old Jerome Helm is still in jail and facing a number of charges after the incident in Roberts Park drew a large police presence.
"There were police cars down along here and all the way over by Western (Avenue)," said Roger Larsen, who lives next to the park.
It started as a 911 call about a possible assault. A man was apparently dragging an unconscious woman into the woods.
Officers by ground and air responded.
"Well, we haven't had any problems before so it's always a concern when you see the police helicopter down there," said Larsen. "We've never actually seen one land. We've always seen them up in the sky going around."
It was a tweet around 9:30 p.m. by the police department's helicopter that caught our attention:
"Susp dragging unconscious female n2 woods @OPDABLE1 lands..foot pursuit. Susp caught, female safe cruisers sorting details. #stillgotit #opd."
"(I was) very surprised," said Larsen. "I really didn't know what the heck was going on. I thought it was a medical helicopter to begin with. They're the only ones we ever see land. Not down at the park, but in various places."
Kaitlin Maher also witnessed the commotion.
"Next thing I know there's another car, another siren, another one, and another one," she said. "I saw about eight at one point."
It turns out there was no assault.
It was teens drinking and carrying their female friend who had passed out.
The police report said officers cuffed Helm, but he escaped from the cruiser.
Officers eventually caught up with him, and he is now in jail facing a number of charges.
"It was quite a fireworks show after the Fourth of July," said Larsen. 
So despite that heavy police presence, the chopper and landing in the dark in a public park, everything was back to normal Friday night.
"(I'm) not surprised," said Maher. "There is a lot of teens in this neighborhood. It's a high school presence in this neighborhood."
Action 3 News asked OPD about protocol when it comes to landing the police chopper in the dark in a public place.
No one was available to talk to us tonight.