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Water Sports

The paranoia of militia figure Mark Koernke has again left him sopping wet, bobbing in a near-freezing pond and facing criminal charges.

Once again, the paranoia of Mark Koernke — the conspiracy monger and former janitor known to the militia movement as "Mark from Michigan" — has left him sopping wet, bobbing in a near-freezing pond and facing criminal charges.

Koernke led five law enforcement agencies on a 50-mile chase through rural Michigan in March, allegedly ramming a patrol car during the pursuit.

After crashing into a tree, he jumped from his car and leapt into a nearby pond, attempting to swim away and then allegedly fighting with officers who apprehended him.

Police had chased Koernke because his son — a passenger in his car — matched the description of a man who'd just robbed a bank in Dexter. Although Koernke's son was in the bank that was robbed, police said later he was unconnected to the holdup. They eventually arrested another man for the crime.

The last time Koernke wound up floating in a small body of water, he was trying to hide from a green police helicopter — not one of the black helicopters he and other "Patriots" fear are secretly shadowing all good Americans. He was a fugitive then as well, having failed to appear on felony assault charges stemming from a confrontation with a court process server.

The police helicopter was on a routine marijuana eradication patrol, and its pilots had not even noticed Koernke until he began a pell-mell flight through the brush and into a cold lake.

The felony assault charges against Koernke in that case were eventually dropped, and he has posted a $10,000 dollar bond on the remaining bail-jumping charge. But after his most recent flight, he is accused of felonious assault yet again, along with charges of fleeing and resisting a police officer officer — criminal counts that could land him in prison for years.

Also charged with fleeing police — as well as driving without a license — is David Cynar, a Koernke friend who was driving a U-Haul truck that Koernke was following when the chase began.

Cynar is charged in a separate case with filing $6.8 million in bogus property liens against local government employees.