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Man avoiding police jumps into lake, but can’t swim

Chase » Man signals every turn he planned to make.

First Published May 28 2012 01:17 pm • Last Updated May 28 2012 11:33 pm

A 29-year-old trying to avoid capture during a chase jumped into the Liberty Park pond before he remembered he couldn’t swim, police said.

The man managed to make it to an island in the middle of the pond, but then started shouting to police that he couldn’t swim, West Valley City police Lt. Dale Brophy said.

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A Unified Police Department officer and his dog had to swim out to save him, Brophy said.

He said the incident started about 3 a.m. Monday when a West Valley City officer noticed the man was driving a Honda Civic that had been reported stolen. When the officer approached, the driver fled, heading up Interstate 15 before exiting into Salt Lake City.

Brophy said that once the driver reached Salt Lake City streets, he obeyed the traffic laws — not running red lights and signaling every time he planned to make a turn.

When police eventually forced the man to stop near Liberty Park, he got out of the car and fled, jumping head-first into the pond.

It was then the man recalled he couldn’t swim.

Brophy said that once the Unified officer reached the man, he was still uncooperative and the police dog bit him several times.

The man was treated at an area hospital and later booked into the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle, evading arrest, fleeing on foot and driving on a denied license.

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