MARSHFIELD, Wisc. – A man who got trapped in a Wisconsin convenience store cooler Tuesday night started drinking, a decision that ultimately landed him behind bars, according to police.
Jeremy Van Ert, 38, stopped into a Kwik Trip store to buy beer just before the 12 a.m. cutoff for alcohol sales. When he went into the store’s cooler to retrieve his beverage of choice, however, the door closed behind him and the clock struck midnight, locking him in, according to WISN.
Van Ert reportedly proceeded to drink three cans of Four Loko and an 18-ounce can of Icehouse beer.
While the man may have been living it up while locked in the cooler, he wasn’t actually trapped. The store is open 24 hours a day and police say Van Ert just needed to knock on the cooler’s glass door to get the attention of an attendant.
"The subject found himself locked in the beer cooler, knew that Kwik Trip would not sell him any beer, so he decided to remain in the beer cooler," Marshfield Police Chief Rick Gramza told WAOW.
Six hours after he entered the cooler, Van Ert was found by another customer.
Employees opened the door and say Van Ert left without paying for his drinks. Staff at the store also say the man toppled and damaged three 30-packs of beer.
Van Ert tried to run but was eventually arrested and charged with retail theft. He also violated a probation hold that required him to stay sober, according to WISN.