Suspect plunges into SF Bay to avoid arrest

A man fleeing from a California Highway Patrol traffic stop jumped in the water near AT&T Park Thursday evening and stayed there for several hours before he was arrested, according to San Francisco police.

The watery pursuit began around 4:30 p.m. when a California Highway Patrol officer saw a motorcyclist riding on the shoulder on the Interstate Highway 280 King Street offramp, according to San Francisco Police Sgt. Michael Andraychak.

When the officer tried to pull the motorcylist over, he did not stop.

The suspect fled, first on his motorcycle and then on foot before jumping into a channel of water at 4th and Berry streets, not far from the ballpark and McCovey Cove, Andraychak said.

San Francisco police and fire responded and set up a perimeter while the suspect swam around in the channel, climbing in and out of the water and under the bridge, Andraychak said.

Police and fire boats and watercraft were eventually able to surround the man after drawbridges in the area were raised to allow them to approach.

At that point, the suspect climbed on to a derelict pier in the area, and then retreated to a pipe underneath it. Crisis negotiators spoke to him there and eventually persuaded him to surrender around 7 p.m., Andraychak said.

The man was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to get checked for hypothermia and medically cleared, and will then be booked into San Francisco’s county jail, CHP Officer Vu Williams said.

Williams said it was likely the CHP would arrest him on suspicion of reckless evading and resisting arrest, and that it appeared the suspect had some sort of outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Andraychak said he understood the suspect might have struck another motorist before fleeing on foot, but Williams said that the reported collision appeared to have been a solo collision involving only the suspect and his motorcycle.

The suspect’s identity has not yet been released.