A man who went for a swim this morning in Des Moines will spend some time warming up in jail. Sergeant Todd Dykstra says Des Moines police spotted a car they’d been looking for. An officer tried to pull over the vehicle, thinking it was one that had been involved in a hit-and-run, but the driver wouldn’t stop and led a brief chase that ended at Prospect Park. That small greenway is along the Des Moines River about a mile north of the capital city’s downtown.
Dykstra says the fleeing suspect jumped out of the car there, and led officers on a brief foot chase. Then he jumped into the river trying to avoid capture — and one of the cops jumped in too, but couldn’t catch him. Just downriver, however, two other officers had arrived and they jumped in, too…and were able to fish out their suspect. At the time it was about fifteen degrees, and the river, though it hasn’t yet frozen over, is cold.
“It is cold,” Dykstra agrees, adding the suspect was first taken to a local hospital to be treated and checked, then will be taken to jail. So far traffic charges are pending but police will check the suspect’s record to see why he was willing to take a dip to avoid capture.