Chase Suspect Jumps From Bridge, Swims Away From Police

EAST DEER, Pa. (KDKA) — A man being chased by police jumps off a New Kensington bridge.

Police don’t know who he is or if he drowned.

East Deer Township officials told KDKA the water is too choppy and has too much debris for divers to feel comfortable continuing to look for him.

Dogs were searching earlier Friday and got no hits. It may turn out that he’s not in the river at all.

The chase started when an East Deer police officer tried to pull over a driver for running a stop sign shortly before midnight.

It lasted about two miles down Freeport Road and ended with the driver getting out of his car and jumping off the New Kensington Bridge.

“Maybe he was used to it. Maybe he was used to jumping in the water and wasn’t scared of anything,” said Tony Csizmadia of Tarentum.

The officer saw him treading water and lost sight of him as the man started swimming toward the bank.

“I was wondering if one of them brave cops was going to jump out after him like superman or something,” said Csizmadia.

“There’s catfish as big as a Volkswagen bug in this river. I’m telling you,” said Thomas Nettle of Brackenridge.

During the chase, the officer said he saw the man throw what appeared to be a bag of crack cocaine out of the car.

“I know the water gets pretty cold, so I hope that the shock didn’t hurt him at all and he got to the shore okay and I hope they catch him,” said Kiersten Lewis of Harrisburg.

Divers and boats with sonar technology were searching for him immediately after the incident.

The white Ford Taurus was not registered to him and also not reported stolen.

The chief of police told KDKA when they talked to the car’s registered owner, that person said they gave it to a friend, who gave it to another friend, and they got no leads.

Police may able to find out the man’s identity from fingerprint evidence, provides crime lab detectives can pull any from the car or even the bag of suspected cocaine.

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