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Man who went over Potomac River dam on watercraft cited

July 19, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- A Clear Spring man who fell about 20 feet Monday night when he went over Dam 5 on the Potomac River on a personal watercraft was cited with three violations and could face jail time as a second offender, said Sgt. Ken Turner of the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

Ryan A. Myers, 22, was cited Thursday night with negligent operation of a personal watercraft and operating in a restricted area, both as a second offender.

"We cited him last year on those two violations," Turner said by telephone Saturday afternoon.

If convicted, Myers could receive a maximum $1,000 fine and/or a year in jail on each citation.

A court date in Washington County District Court has been set for Sept. 23, Turner said.

Myers also was cited with operating a personal watercraft between sunset and sunrise, Turner said. That was a first offense for Myers and carries an $85 fine.

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A second man who was with Myers, but on a separate personal watercraft, also was cited with the same three violations, Turner said.

Thomas A. Browning, 23, of Hagerstown, has the option of appearing in District Court on the same day as Myers, but could choose to pay $470 to satisfy the three citations and avoid a court appearance, Turner said.

Browning was a first-time offender on all three citations, Turner said.

After the incident, Myers said he got too close to the dam. When his personal watercraft fell about 20 feet, Myers said he jumped off.

When he landed, Myers said he rode his watercraft to shore and walked two miles back to Four Locks north of Williamsport, where he had entered the water with Browning earlier.

Myers' brief disappearance launched a search that included police and ambulance crews who didn't know he had gotten out of the water, according to a story published in Wednesday's edition of The Herald-Mail.

A day after the incident, Turner said Myers and Browning had ridden past two sets of warning buoys.

Myers is the son of state Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr.

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