A sheriff’s department captain is calling a theft that occurred recently in Williamson, Illinois, one of the most pathetic and disheartening he’s ever seen. As reported by KTVI Fox 2, Larry Lotter was at the Rock Bottom Bar when he was suddenly struck by what appeared to be a heart attack. “I felt fine, and then all at once, I took a drink of my beer, and I felt a real sharp pain, like somebody sticking an ice pick in my chest,” Lotter told the station.
Surveillance video captured the incident and showed Larry collapsing to the floor, then patrons gathering around him to help. One of those patrons was Bryan Kuegler. He is seen looking around and then pocketing an item. “As the EMT’s were getting ready to come in, is when he reached down and grabbed my wallet and stuck it in his pants,” explained Lotter.
Madison County Sheriff’s Department Captain Mike Dixon said, “As the victim left the establishment, [Kuegler] went into the restroom, returned, threw the victim’s wallet back on the floor.” But before doing so, Kuegler swiped two $50 bills from Lotter’s wallet. Adding insult to injury, “[Kuegler] tried tobuy the girl that Larry was with that day a drink with the money he took,” said the bar’s owner, Mike Lovsey. KSDK News Channel 5 notes that minutes after tossing the wallet, Kuegler points it out to the bartender, acting as though he was discovering it for the first time.
Lotter said that doctors told him he did not have a heart attack and it was possible that someone slipped something in his drink. After reviewing the surveillance video, the victim was able to identify the wallet thief because he had installed brakes on Kuegler’s car a month prior. Lotter’s reaction was understandable. “Real shocked. That night I went home, I couldn’t hardly sleep because it bothered me so bad,” said Lotter. “He was trying to play Good Samaritan, then turned around and ripped the guy off at the same time,” said Lovsey. “I was shocked. I mean it was kinda, I couldn’t believe somebody would do something like that.”
Kuegler, a man with several previous criminal convictions, was arrested and charged with ‘felony theft from person’, which could put him behind bars for two to five years. Lotter says, “That’s where he belongs. I hope he gets a long time out of it, honestly.” Captain Dixon told KTVI, “Rarely have I seen somebody literally steal from what they believe to be a dying man. It’s pretty pathetic.”