A person drowned after fleeing a traffic stop for a stolen scooter Thursday. They died at UF Health Shands Hospital early that morning, according to a Gainesville Police Department press release.
Around midnight, police ran the license plate on a red scooter near Northeast 25th Street and Northeast 6th Avenue. The scooter’s registration had expired in 2018 and was discovered to be stolen, according to the press release.
After seeing the flashing blue and red lights, the suspect fled on foot toward a wooded area near Duval Park.
The officer who initiated the traffic stop remained with the scooter until more officers arrived. They then searched the marshy area of Duval Park before they noticed the suspect about 50 feet away in the Duval Park lake, according to the press release.
Officers called out to the person and told them to swim toward the police, but they couldn’t stay above water and began to sink.
Police requested emergency services before multiple officers stripped their body of equipment and jumped into the lake to save the person, according to the release.
After pulling the person toward land, police tried to save them before EMS arrived and transported them to the hospital. They were pronounced dead early Thursday morning, according to the press release.
The officer who retrieved the person was treated for minor injuries.
The name of the deceased person is currently unknown.
Contact Jordan Ramos at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JordanR68971799.
Jordan Ramos is a fourth-year journalism major and the Fall 2023 criminal justice reporter for the Alligator. In his free time, he can be found singing with his acappella group.