D.C. police retrieve suspect who took refuge in Rock Creek

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 28, 2009

A foot chase through the District's busy West End turned into a brief, watery standoff Friday after a fleeing suspect jumped into Rock Creek, police said.

Amid the blare of horns and sirens, law enforcement and rescue personnel converged on the scene, near the Potomac River, and tried to coax the man back to land, a witness said.

Eventually, an officer from the D.C. police harbor unit, in a protective dry suit, went in and brought the suspect out, authorities said.

The chase began, police said, after a man was spotted breaking into a car in the 1200 block of 24th Street NW, in an upscale area of hotels, offices and condominiums. The man ran, with the car's owner in pursuit, and police joined in the chase, authorities said.

In the area of Rock Creek Parkway and Virginia Avenue NW, near the Swedish Embassy, the man jumped into the water, police said. Something of an amphibious standoff ensued.

The harbor police officer who went into the creek after the suspect did not take a pistol, a witness said. But he was big and burly, and he carried chemical spray as well as a police baton.

Police said the suspect, who was waist deep in the water, gave up without resistance and was taken to a hospital with possible hypothermia. His name was not released. The matter was under investigation, police said.

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