Space claim leads to arrest

A Seymour man stopped on the side of the road told a Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputy he had just gotten off the space shuttle, leading to his eventual arrest on multiple charges, police said.

Kenneth Engleking, 40, was spotted on the west side of the intersection of county roads 550W and 250S at about 9:03 a.m. Wednesday by Chief Deputy Maj. Chris Lane.

As Lane approached and began talking to Engleking, the man told the deputy he didn’t know where he was and that he had just left the space shuttle — which last flew in 2011.

Lane saw a clear baggie with white powder along with other items used to ingest narcotics inside the vehicle, deputies said.

When Engleking began to reach under the vehicle’s seat, Lane feared he was reaching for a weapon and opened the driver’s side door and ordered Engleking to show his hands, deputies said. Engleking obeyed and left the vehicle as Lane requested, deputies said.

Lane then saw more items under the driver’s seat that are used to ingest narcotics, deputies said. A semi-automatic pistol and a small amount of marijuana were found in the driver’s door, deputies said.

Since Engleking appeared to be under the influence of narcotics, he was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital to be checked before being transported to the Bartholomew County Jail, deputies said.

When deputies were searching the vehicle, they found a second semi-automatic pistol and a Schedule 4 controlled substance in the vehicle in addition to the items that were found earlier, deputies said.

Engleking faces preliminary charges of possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and carrying a handgun without a license.

Engleking was released from the jail after posting $22,500 bond.

Lane was assisted by Deputy Nick Martoccia and Columbus Police Department Sgt. Toby Combest.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.