an flees from police by jumping in Mississippi River

by Justin Costley

An unidentified man fled Minneapolis police Monday morning by plunging into the Mississippi River.
After 12 hours of searching Monday and continued efforts Tuesday by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Water Patrol Division, the man has not been found.
Police officers originally encountered the man in a park near the bank of the river at East River Road and Cecil Street at 1:35 a.m.
Police records stated officers were investigating a suspicious person in the park. They asked him for identification and what he was doing in the area when he started backing into the river.
“It all happened so quickly,” said Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Roseann Campagnoli. “At one moment they’re talking to him, and the next minute he plunges in and he’s swimming away.”
Campagnoli said one of the officers saw the man at a point halfway across the river for a few moments, but lost visual contact with him and then notified the sheriff’s office.
To help with the underwater search, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Water Patrol Division is using a device called sidescan sonar, which gives them a view of the river’s bottom.
In addition to the underwater search, however, investigators also do surface checks. These include checks of the area around the river and the surface of the water.
Campagnoli said resources can be focused on searches like this for only so long.
She said that after an undetermined amount of time, investigators will concentrate on land and shore searches as well as rely on eyewitnesses to watch the water in case the man managed to survive the swim.
“You always have to deal with the possibility that he may have exited the water,” Campagnoli said. “That’s one theory that you always have to take into account in a situation like this and make sure you don’t focus your efforts in just one area.”

Justin Costley welcomes comments at jcostl[email protected] He can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3224.