BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Police are now saying why they chased a man through the sewers of Bloomington earlier this week.
Eli Swartzentruber is facing several charges after he stood off with police in the sewers Tuesday near the Indiana University campus. Because of the standoff, several buildings on the IU campus were placed on lockdown as police believed he might have been armed with a gun.
Police confronted Swartzentruber who it turned out only had a pipe and swung it at officers as they arrested him.
Court documents say Swartzentruber was wanted for trying to sexually assault a woman earlier that morning. He briefly held the woman captive with a machete before she was able to get away.
According to the victim, Swartzentruber came to where she was staying and asked her if she wanted to go live underground with him. She rejected his offer and said he pulled out the machete during the conversation.
She told police he began to rub her neck before squeezing it to the point that she began to experience pain and difficulty talking.
Swartzentruber then took off his pants, shoved money down her shirt, and began to fondle her, the documents say. She managed to get away by tricking him into looking away momentarily. She said he took his pants as she ran away in an attempt to slow him down should he chase after her.
Police were called not long after the encounter and that’s when the standoff in the sewers ensued.
Swartzentruber faces sexual battery, residential entry, and intimidation charges.