Legal woes grow for man who ditched plane

CHATTAHOOCHEE — Money manager Marcus Schrenker, whose run from ruin was halted when investigators interrupted his suicide attempt at a Florida campground, found his legal problems compounded Wednesday as authorities filed federal charges against him in the three-day ordeal.

U.S. marshals tracked Schrenker, 38, to a North Florida campground Tuesday night, peeling back the flap to his tent to discover him in clouded consciousness with blood-soaked arms, muttering the word "die."

Scott Wilson, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Northern District of Florida, said Schrenker was charged with intentionally wrecking his aircraft and faking a distress call. Schrenker was resting in a guarded hospital room Wednesday but is expected to appear first in a Florida court before returning to Indiana, Wilson said.

The campground's owners said he rode into the tree-lined site on a flashy red motorcycle Monday night, wearing a brown leather jacket. He didn't give a name but handed over $25.75 in cash for a tent site, said owner Caroline Hastings.

The next day, Hastings, 32, and her husband, Troy, grew suspicious when Schrenker, who had paid for only one night, did not check out by 5 p.m. Hastings' husband went to his tent and saw a red stain on one of the outer flaps.

"Are you okay? Planning to spend another night?" he called out.

Schrenker said he was, he'd be by later to pay. He didn't come.

Later, the sheriff called and asked the Hastingses if anything odd was going on. Troy Hastings mentioned the camper, and the sheriff asked if they could come identify him. Caroline Hastings didn't need to look at a picture long to know it was him.

Indiana regulators say Schrenker faces about $9-million or more in court judgments and legal claims. And now, Schrenker could be forced to pay at least $5,100 for the cost of Coast Guard boats and helicopters used in the search.

Legal woes grow for man who ditched plane 01/14/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 10:23pm]

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