Officer saves felon who jumped into Hillsborough River, man arrested on several charges.
Legal News for Florida Criminal Attorneys. Wanted man was rescued from river by police officers after trying to run from authorities.
Tampa Police chase stolen vehicle, then driver jumps into Hillsborough River in an attempt to escape.
Tampa, FL—A man in a stolen vehicle sped away and crashed after a police officer attempted to pull him over, according to a report from TampaBay.com. A police officer allegedly noticed a silver Kia with excessively dark window tinting, occupied by three males around 12 a.m. After running the tag on the Kia, the deputy discovered that the car actually belonged to a 48-year-old female from Dade City. When the Tampa based police officer tried to pull the Kia over, it allegedly sped away, eventually loosing control and crashing the vehicle near Rome Avenue and Columbus Street.
Once the automobile came to a rest, it’s occupants, Craig Kendrick, 34, and his two sons, ages 13 and 16, quickly got out of the car and began to flee the scene. In an alleged attempt to escape, the driver jumped into the Hillsborough River and swam approximately 30 yards away from shore before beginning to panic and shout for help. Tampa Police Officer Mark Vasquez reportedly tore the backseat out of his police car, and jumped into the 64-degree water to rescue the wanted man.
Once on shore, Tampa Fire Rescue paramedics treated Kendrick for hypothermia and his reported chest pain, then transported him to Tampa General Hospital as a precaution. Once fully treated at the hospital, authorities took Kendrick to jail pending numerous charges.
It was reported that Hernando County officials were searching for Kendrick for armed robbery charges. Police officials at the scene allegedly found a ski mask as well as 9mm gun in the Kia. Regarding this particular incident, Kendrick reportedly faces charges of “fleeing and attempting to elude arrest, driving with a suspended license, child neglect, and being a felon in possession of a weapon”. He was also arrested on previous charges of grand theft and armed robbery.
Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Florida Criminal Lawyers.