Appleton VA police officer praised for helping capture suspect, save young child

Published: Dec. 19, 2018 at 4:24 PM CST
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An Appleton VA police officer is being called a hero after his quick thinking helped save an 18-month-old child.

"It's kind of one of those situations where I guess when something negative like this happens that you just pray to God that you're at the right place at the right time," said Officer Cole Kantner.

Kantner traveled north on I-41 from the Appleton VA to the Green Bay VA on the morning of Wednesday, December 12.

"I was in an unmarked government vehicle in full uniform," he said. "Ironically, left a little bit early which plays into the story, I would say."

Just after 9:30 a.m., an "attempt to locate" alert came over his police radio. The notification warned of an armed and dangerous suspect wanted for possible kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon who was driving a dark blue Dodge Charger. That is when Kantner looked up and realized a vehicle matching that description driving two cars ahead of him.

"You think to yourself, 'No way this could happen to me. I'm at the right spot at the right time,'" said Kantner.

"He immediately notified the Brown County Sheriff's Office of his location and direction of travel. He did a wonderful job," said Chief Tim Jantz of Milwaukee VA Police Services. "He kept them abreast with what was going on."

Kantner followed the car for another 25 minutes, knowing that there was a young child also inside.

The Brown County Sheriff's Office stopped the car near University Avenue in Green Bay, arresting the suspect and taking the young child to safety.

"I'm a father myself, and it kind of takes heart when you know there's a child involved and everything like that," said Kantner. "I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome of it."

Despite praise for his quick thinking, Officer Kantner remains humble.

"Ultimately, I don't think I did anything that another individual with that same information would have done," he said.

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