23-year-old man turns up safe as search begins on Mississippi

2012-09-04T00:00:00Z 2012-09-04T06:01:44Z 23-year-old man turns up safe as search begins on MississippiBy Allison Geyer | ageyer@lacrossetribune.com La Crosse Tribune

A college-age man briefly disappeared from downtown La Crosse early Monday morning, prompting authorities to launch search boats in the Mississippi River.

Police found Tyler Pederson of West Salem shortly after 10 a.m. walking near the corner of Fourth and Vine streets, but not before authorities began to wonder whether Pederson had become the latest student to drown in an area river.

Nine intoxicated college-age men have drowned in area rivers since 1997.

The last was Craig Meyers, a 21-year-old Western Technical College student who had a blood-alcohol concentration more than twice the legal limit for driving when he ventured onto ice south of Riverside Park on Feb. 14, 2010.

Pederson, a 23-year-old student at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, was back in town drinking with friends at Howie’s on La Crosse Street Sunday night when he “took off running” after bar time, said his brother Adam Pederson.

“It was around 2:30 a.m. and nobody had seen him,” he said. “We started calling friends. We were just really worried.”

Pederson said he and others spent the night looking for his brother. In a panic, they finally called police after 7 a.m.

“We wanted to give it time in case we found him,” Adam Pederson said.

Police joined the search, and the fire department boats were launched about 10 a.m. near Riverside Park.

“We maybe jumped the gun a little with the river search,” Adam Pederson said. “But it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

It’s not the city’s first false alarm over a college student feared drowned.

In 2008, police launched a search for a 21-year-old UW-Platteville student whose roommates reported him missing during Oktoberfest. He was found several hours later at a La Crosse Street residence.

It was not immediately clear where Tyler Pederson had been all night. Police provided few details on the search.

“He’s fine,” Sgt. Kirk Flatten said, adding that police planned to issue a statement about the incident today.

Pederson left the police station about 11 a.m. accompanied by his parents, both of whom declined comment but expressed gratitude that their son turned up safely.

Tyler Pederson said he was not aware people were looking for him.

Tribune reporters Chris Hubbuch and Patrick B. Anderson contributed to this report.

Copyright 2015 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(14) Comments

  1. laxcitizen
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    laxcitizen - September 05, 2012 7:22 am
    and ,...because its LaCrosse is well enough reason? Missedconnections- this is a missed connection. I don't condone the behavior and we have all made stupid mistakes, Your comment pissed me off.
  2. MissedConnections
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    MissedConnections - September 04, 2012 7:12 pm
    So let me get this straight...You want to charge this young man for the services used to locate him? So where exactly do you draw the line? If grandma goes missing because she forgot her pills, will she also get a bill? Just because he drank too much, doesn't mean he does it all the time. Its La Crosse...this town is known for being a party town. The kid made a mistake, and I'm pretty sure he won't let it happen again (I have no clue what this kid is like, i'm just assuming he'll think about it a little more).
  3. laxcitizen
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    laxcitizen - September 04, 2012 7:09 pm
    I take my comments back if they appeared to be shallow and uncaring. I totally agree with levelhead and regular jane....I can not imagine my son going missing and friends or citizens not doing anything, especially with the circumstances these young adults were in. My apologies.
  4. allcav
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    allcav - September 04, 2012 5:25 pm
    I guess nobody can close the bars down sooner, but, knowing kid logic, they'd just drink more and faster if there were an earlier closing time mandated. At least this is part of the returning to college ritual and may not be as much a problem as the term winds on and the money gets scarcer. I did notice that my street has turned once again into a UW-L parking lot. I just want to know why many of these "poor" kids have better cars than I do.
  5. Clara Fying
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    Clara Fying - September 04, 2012 3:33 pm
    And charging the people who called the police for help after searching all night would set a horrible precedent. The next time people would be less likely to call and that could result in a death. People who live in a society need to have a little compassion - even for people who are sometimes stupid. We've all had stupid moments, but most of the time we get lucky.
  6. Sutter Caine
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    Sutter Caine - September 04, 2012 1:16 pm
    Charged? That's ridiculous. Why on earth should he be charged because the city put out a search for him? If the city wants to use its resources and manpower to find this kid and not making seatbelt busts, then so be it. You cant start charging people because their friends are over zealous.

  7. FUBAR
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    FUBAR - September 04, 2012 10:59 am
    .If we as humans had to "assume responsibility” and had to pay for every one of our mistakes we would all be broke.
    I would rather a few tax dollars go to helping find this guy then some of the other BS tax dollars are being spent on.
  8. RegularJane
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    RegularJane - September 04, 2012 10:40 am
    Oops..."knowing they have friends and family who will do their best to keep them safe" allows for at least a degree of relief.
  9. lutefisk
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    lutefisk - September 04, 2012 10:30 am
    I love it...the kid was on the walk of shame....
  10. RegularJane
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    RegularJane - September 04, 2012 10:22 am
    Thank you, levelhead, for posting a comment that appreciates the efforts made to locate this young man while still acknowledging the responsibity he needs to accept.
    While others condemn the "wasted" effort, I applaud this young man's friends for not just going home and assuming he'd show up. They showed that not all the young partiers in this town are irresponsible! It's every parent's nightmare that their "kids" do something foolish like this, but knowing they have friends and family who will do their best to keep them safe. Things like this shouldn't happen, but they do, and I, for one, am thankful for the efforts made and grateful this one had a happy ending.
  11. hlange
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    hlange - September 04, 2012 9:43 am
    He didn't ask to be searched for. He is a 23 year old adult. The fact that others thought he needed helf is irellivent, he didn't. If anyone should be made to pay for this search, (which, by the way, we already did as the cops were on duty anyway) it should be the ones that asked for it.
  12. levelhead
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    levelhead - September 04, 2012 8:59 am
    Thank God this man was found. I appreciate my tax dollars going for a search like this, even though I wish this type of behavior did not happen. I agree this 23 year old "kid" needs to assume some type of financial responsibility of this type of search.
    Operation Riverwatch is still an organization on the UWL campus that had a presence in that area near the river. These are student volunteers hoping to turn away anyone that decides to walk toward the river at night. There is still a chance a person can get in the river, further South as these numerous volunteers cannot watch the entire river.
  13. laxcitizen
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    laxcitizen - September 04, 2012 7:49 am
    agree, sallyjo. He should be charged for the hours of help...oh, that's right we have volunteers now, (IF that rivergroup is still together and standing near rivers edge during specific times, there should not have been a search...OR did they stop that?),
    correct me if I'm wrong, if someone is missing and they are of adult age,...isn't there a time period to which 'nothing can be done' for search to begin?
  14. sallyjo
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    sallyjo - September 04, 2012 7:18 am
    This is ridiculous. This is a 23 year old kid, who should have been an adult. He should be charged for the cost of the services that were used. If responsibility is not placed where it needs to be this will happen many more times, and may not have such a good ending.
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