UPDATE: Person in water in La Crosse's Houska Park

Man Found Floating on Stolen Plastic

La Crosse Police identify the man swimming in the main channel early Wednesday morning.

Jason Cooper, 37, is charged with 2-counts of bail jumping, 1-count of disorderly conduct for the disturbance resulting in the search and rescue response and 1-count of theft from stealing a plastic pipe from La Crosse Plumbing Supply to use as a floatation device.


The La Crosse Fire Department says a man has been safely located after a call early Wednesday morning about a person being in the water in Houska Park.

About an hour after crews began searching on the shore and in the water, a man emerged from the shoreline. According to the fire department, he floated out onto the main channel of the Mississippi River on a roll of plastic drain tile. He refused to board a rescue boat. He continued to swim on the other side of the river and got out of the water at the Pettibone Boat Club. Fire crews and the La Crosse Police Department met him there.

No other details are available.


La Crosse County dispatch says emergency crews are in Houska Park as a precautionary measure, after a caller reported a person in the water.

The call came in at around 4 a.m. Wednesday. The caller said a person was in the water, but did not appear to be struggling.

Emergency crews had a boat on the water as a precaution.

Stay with for updates on this story.

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