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Man jumps into Ohio River in flight from police

Suspect survived, still sought

CHESAPEAKE — Police and first responders spent Sunday night searching for a man they said jumped into the Ohio River while fleeing police.

Randy Thompson, the village’s police chief, said the suspect was stopped for a traffic violation at about 6:40 p.m..

He said the man, who had a warrant for his arrest, got out of his vehicle, ran across the highway and jumped into the river on County Road 1 near Chesapeake High School.

Thompson said an officer followed the man into the high water, reaching the point where he was “neck deep.”

Thompson said, due to the cold temperature of the river, the officer had to turn back, because he was feeling the effects of hypothermia.

“He couldn’t take it,” Thompson said.

Thompson said crews from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Fayette and Union Township volunteer fire departments assisted in searching for the man, along with a river rescue boat, before being called off a few hours later.

Thompson said that it has been determined the suspect survived his time in the Ohio River and has made contact with his family. He said officers are still seeking to apprehend him.

“He hid until everyone left,” Thompson said.

The man’s name has not been released.