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Man swims across river to elude cops

February 22, 2002

Man swims across river to elude cops



By DAVE McMILLION
charlestown@herald-mail.com


A man being sought by authorities in the Sportsman's Paradise area Thursday afternoon escaped into the Potomac River and swam to the Maryland side, police said.

Berkeley County Sheriff's deputies went to Sportsman's Paradise, a community about a mile down the river from the Interstate 81 bridge between West Virginia and Maryland, to recover a stolen motorcycle, said Sgt. Richard Copenhaver.

Deputies were told that a man had put the motorcycle in a building in the area, Copenhaver said.

Deputies were told the man was expected to return to the building Thursday afternoon to get the motorcycle, Copenhaver said.

When deputies spotted the man down the street from the building at about 5:30 p.m., he ran to the river and began wading across, said Copenhaver.

"He was doing all right until he got about half-way across," Copenhaver said.

The man fell into water up to his neck, swam across the river until he could touch bottom, then waded out of the water, Copenhaver said.

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The man fled into a wooded area on the Maryland side.

Maryland State Police Sgt. D. Kloos said anyone who swims across the Potomac River in full clothing has courage, especially given the fact the man was wearing a long leather coat.

"That would be like a sponge," said Kloos.

Maryland State Police were on the lookout for the man late Thursday afternoon, but had not seen any trace of him, said Kloos.

Police said the man was still being sought this morning.

The man had a shaved head and was wearing blue jeans, said Copenhaver.

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