Report: Fla. man who can’t swim jumps into lake trying to escape deputies, has to be fished out

Report: Fla. man who can’t swim jumps into lake trying to escape deputies, has to be fished out

© Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

Deputies had to dive into a lake to fish out an 18-year-old Florida man who jumped in trying to escape from them, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

Helicopter footage shows one deputy removing his belt and taking items out of his pockets before jumping into the water Friday to swim toward a man, identified as Richard Garay, who was submerged beneath the green waves.

A second deputy quickly entered the water to help pull the man out.

Earlier, Garay had run from officers after they responded to a complaint of suspicious behavior and saw him entering a van, deputies said.

Garay, who later admitted he can’t swim, was charged with obstruction, as well as contempt of court for outstanding warrants. He remained in custody at the Sarasota County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon.

“The safety of our citizens is a priority, regardless of circumstance,” Sheriff Tom Knight said in a statement. “These deputies acted quickly and selflessly to render aid to someone who has a complete disregard for law enforcement. Unfortunately incidents like this happen all too often but this is what we train for.”

@tiffinit on Twitter or email ttheisen@orlandosentinel.com


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