Backstroke backfires for Ore. man arrested in river after police chase

Maybe Matthew Grevers, seen here after winning the Olympic gold medal in the men's 100-meter backstroke in London in July 2012, could have helped an Oregon man who was arrested in a river when he tried to do the backstroke to escape from police.
AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza
(CBS/AP) IRRIGON, Ore. - A man doing the backstroke in Oregon's Columbia River in a bid to flee police after a car chase said he couldn't swim and pleaded with officers to retrieve him.

They fished him out of the river, and placed him under arrest.

Morrow County Sheriff Ken Matlack told the East Oregonian newspaper officers chased a stolen car Wednesday that went through two fences and a gate near Irrigon, Ore. The car reportedly scraped a steel pole that caused sparks and two brush fires.

It was after the car got stuck, that the driver - identified as 20-year-old Zachary Bartz - took off on foot, reached the river, and took the plunge.

End of chase.

Officers waded into chest-deep water to make the arrest.

Bartz was booked on vehicle theft and other charges.

One more reason, perhaps, why it's good to learn how to swim?


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