Ironton man arrested after striking police officer during water rescue

Published 11:55 am Friday, November 26, 2021

A wellness check turned into a water rescue by police officers on Tuesday. And the man they were trying to save ended up in jail after punching a police officer.

Around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, the Ironton Police Department got a call from a woman on Thomas Street who asked for wellness check on her son who had gotten upset and left the house on foot.

Officers patrolled the area until they found Andrew Baker, 23, on the bridge on N. Second and Orchard streets.

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While officers were trying to talk to Baker, he kept making motions to get over the rail as if he was going to jump into the Storms Creek. After a couple of minutes, Baker took off, running over floodwall and down the river bank to the Ohio River.

When officers caught up with him, he was about two feet out in the river. Officers continued to talk to him to try to get him back onto land.

Officers called for assistance from the Ironton Fire Department and the Russell Kentucky Fire Department to bring their watercrafts to the scene.

When Russell Fire Department boat arrived, Baker went farther out into the river. Officers went into the river to get him out of the water and when one of the officers grabbed him, Baker punched an officer in the face.

Baker continued to struggle with the officers as they pulled him towards the shore. The officers and Baker were pulled out of the water as they slipped on the embankment and went under water.

Baker and two officers were transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Huntington, West Virginia, where they were treated and released.

Baker was charged with assault on a police officer, inducing panic, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and was taken to the Lawrence County Jail.